One year from now, the small landfill with lindane at the OHIS factory in Skopje should be cleaned up, said Macedonian minister of environment Naser Nuredini. Today, the minister announced the start of the activities for remediation of 7,000 tons of this dangerous chemical and contaminated soil that have stood for decades at the yard of the former chemical giant. The pesticide will be stored in special barrels and immediately transported for safe incineration in France and Netherlands.
The selected company Polyeco from Greece is supposed to finish the preparations by September and start with the excavation. The location will be covered with a tent with filters which will prevent any type of air or soil polution while the cleaning process is underway.
Nuredini informed that the small landfill will be clean by July next year. As for the large landfill which is located near the small one and has around 52,000 tons of lindane, additional assets will be required. Still, the expertise and the knowledge with the cleaning of the small landfill will ease the process of cleaning the lindane at OHIS plant.
“With this project, we confirmed our determination to eliminate the country’s hotspots. In the past period, enormous quantities of extremely dangerous chemicals that for decades were stored in OHIS plant’s yard were safely removed and incinerated. Today, we attended the start of the lindane’s cleansing, a historical problem to which solving we spent a lot of attention and energy, said Minister Nuredini. He informed that during the whole period of the cleansing of the small landfill, the laboratory at the Chemistry Institute at PMF will be continuously monitoring the air and soil quality of the surrounding area and will be informing the general public.
The Greek company Polyeco said that the project will be accomplished with the use of the latest available technologies and in accordance with the highest standards for the treatment of this type of waste. The tent which will be used to fence in the location is in the process of making in Italy and will be set on location by September. It will be secured with special filtration units and the workers will have special respiratory protection.
“All of the activities will take place in a closed space in order to protect the environment and the people from the surrounding areas. The lindane and the contaminated soil will not be treated in any way at this location but they will be packed and transported. We are expecting when the first layer of soil will be removed to dig out 1,7 meters more where the lindane is placed in a concrete pool. After the cleaning, the concrete will also be removed and additional analyses will be made whether the chemical has penetrated deeper into the soil. In that case, the excavation will continue until it is necessary,” said Polyeco and stressed that until the works are underway, they will be continuously monitoring the condition of the living environment.
It is estimated that the whole project will cost around 8 million EUR.