The culprit seems to be Zagreb’s main landfill.
Coughing, sneezing, choking… These are the problems which a resident of Kamenarka, a street in the Dugave neighbourhood in Zagreb, recently experienced with her daughter. The coughing stopped only after they entered their apartment. The mother then realised that something similar had already happened to them several times. She immediately opened an air quality measurement app on her smartphone, Breezometer, and quickly realized what it was all about, reports Večernji List on August 30, 2018.
When she typed in her address, the number 54 appeared on the screen, warning that the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups of people. The situation did not improve in the next few days. She contacted the local neighbourhood committee to warn them about the problem and found out she was not the only one to complain about it.
The same problem is experienced by the residents of Travno, Hrelić, Utrine, Zapruđe and even Borovje and Savica neighbourhoods, according to Dugave local neighbourhood committee vice chairwoman Miljenka Ćurković, who decided to launch an initiative to organize a meeting so that people would be informed about the issue.
“The residents are suffocating when the weather conditions are such that the smell from the Jakuševac landfill spreads through the town. We are very close to the epicentre of the pollution, and people do not even know how bad the situation is. Those who are chronic patients, and who are commonly affected by sneezing and coughing, most often attribute the problem to their illnesses. The main pollutant is currently ozone, a strong irritant gas,” said Ćurković, adding that the air quality is also measured by the Croatian Environment and Nature Agency and that their results are similar.
Ćurković added that the people of Dugave are willing to collect signatures to resolve the issue. “It is not necessary to move Jakuševac to improve the quality of air in our neighbourhood. It is possible to repair the crusher for bulk and construction waste and to cover the compost area in some way. Even probiotics could be used to eliminate all the negative things which are being emitted from the landfill,” concluded Ćurković.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Petra Balija).