By Paula Manoli-Gray
The Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) has said that Paralimni Municipality need to take urgent action to collect their overflowing rubbish, calling the state of the resort’s rubbish collection “a disgrace”.
The organisation was specifically referring to the main tourist area of Protaras where images showed rubbish overflowing from skips and recycling bins, with further rubbish bags strewn on the ground.
There have been reports that this is a common sight for the resort, and that rubbish clearing is not taking place frequently or well enough – especially now that it is the high season for tourism.
The CSTI publicly called on the local authorities to take action urgently through social media site Facebook, where it posted the images and ‘tagged’ pages that represent Paralimni, Protaras and regional tourism for the south Famagusta area. The tagging process means that the pages in question see the post, along with their viewers. A week after the images were taken, a member of CSTI said that the authorities – including the Mayor – had not made any comment regarding the issue.
A visit to the same location – also a week later – showed that whilst some clearing had taken place, the rubbish was still piling up at an alarming rate. Furthermore, the situation has proven even worse in another area – the road leading to Green Bay – which the CSTI say ‘has evidently not been cleared for weeks – or even months’, and is at ‘unacceptable and shameful’ levels.
The CSTI further said that regardless of whether some rubbish collection was taking place, this issue clearly needs to be revisited urgently as the current services do not seem adequate enough, and that Cyprus’ reputation for its high cleanliness, health and hygiene standards is at stake.
It also added that this problem is not just unique to Protaras, but also an issue in other areas of Cyprus. Specifically, the Facebook page ‘Do Tell’ featured a post on June 27 regarding rubbish on the motorway, and another on July 1 regarding the poor state of Strovolos, which the CSTI believes indicates that local people are dissatisfied and embarrassed at the current situation – something that local authorities should take note of, and take action.
Founded in 2006, the CSTI is an independent organisation borne out of a two-year project of the UK’s Travel Foundation (TF) that created a partnership of UK leading tour operators (Thomas Cook, TUI and Sunvil Holidays), along with environmental Cypriot NGOs, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), Cyprus agents and hotels, small village producers, their communities and associations, and academic institutions.
Since its inception, the CSTI has worked hard to make the island more sustainable with a range of projects that include ‘greening’ the island’s beaches to make them eco-friendly and authentic, and implementing Minimum Sustainable Standards’ for CTO-approved hotel establishments.
The organisation is also very active on social media, and regularly posts sustainable initiatives.
CSTI: www.csti-cyprus.org / Facebook page: Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.