Despite numerous warnings and threats from the EU, Sofia continues to be the only capital
in the Union that does not have a functioning waste disposal system-no waste
incineration, no composting, and certainly no recycling. Almost 100 per cent of the
household waste produced is compressed into modernistic plastic bales that are
transported to dumps-
usually open pits- throughout the country. More than 600,000 garbage bales, each
weighing a ton, have already been stockpiled on the outskirts of Sofia, many of them in
immediate proximity of inhabited buildings. In Sofia’s suburb of Kremikovzi, the residents
of several apartment buildings surrounded by some 100,000 garbage bales are literally
trying their best to survive. The stench is often unbearable and the local environment is so
polluted that almost everyone who live there is suffering from one or more severe diseases
such as cancer, diabetes, and heart failure.
The garbage is ubiquitous in the area. It is the very first
thing to see and smell. At night, when the streets are empty and nobody is there to disturb,
street dogs will come and tear the garbage balls apart, leaving behind drastic and vivid
evidence for the their content.