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Situation report of the crisis unit: Waste disposal sites on the Ahr River reach limits

Situation report of the crisis unit : Waste disposal sites on the Ahr River reach limits

Ahrweiler waste disposal companies, farmers and volunteer companies are in continuous operation to remove piles of garbage in the flooded area. Still on the scene are 3000 organized helpers, the crisis team reported Monday.

There's no end to the trash. After mountains of floating debris were initially removed, the bulky waste from the houses was added. Currently, those affected are clearing their houses of screed and knocking the plaster off the walls. But even floating debris is still everywhere. "The landfills are reaching their limits, are not prepared for such masses," described ADD President Thomas Linnertz on the sidelines of the daily press conference on Monday the new problem. In many places, he said, containers have now been set up for people to dump construction waste into.

Still, waste disposal companies, and especially farmers and volunteer companies, are in constant use to haul away mountains of trash. "But the mountains are not getting smaller, here two machines load the transporters full and ten machines bring new garbage from the city," says an excavator driver at the Ahrtor parking lot in Ahrweiler. Volumes of waste are also generated during oil spill response. About 150 specialists from a Bavarian unit of the fire department go from house to house, looking for oil heating and oil tanks. If they find oil or a water-oil mixture, it is pumped into IBC tanks and taken to a mobile separation plant in Sinzig. "So far, 1580 cubic meters of oil and oil mixture have been picked up, and 650 cubic meters have already passed through the separation process. In the process, 300 cubic meters of oil could be separated," reported Sven Rüchel as technical advisor of the Technisches Hilfswerk (THW). He is one of currently 3000 organized helpers on site. On Saturday, there were still 4000 helpers from the "blue light family" who were deployed. But the municipalities are increasingly becoming self-sufficient in terms of basic protection.

Thomas Linnertz reported that at least 40 medical practices have already reopened in the crisis area. Gradually, he said, people are moving over to civilian structures, and the units needed in the first phase after the disaster are leaving. "Emergency care is ensured and the emergency number 112 is also working again everywhere," said the chairman of the crisis team. Of course, the helpers who are now needed, such as the bridge-builders from THW and the Bundeswehr or the staff of the Psychosocial Emergency Care, remained on site. The same applies to the specialists in waste disposal. Heinz Wolschendorf, head of operations, reported that radioactive material had recently had to be salvaged from a destroyed radiological practice. In addition, numerous paramedics remained in the crisis area, where injuries repeatedly occurred during the cleanup work.

In the meantime, the base camp in the paddock at the Nürburgring has been cleared, and the remaining forces have been distributed to two new staging areas: the P5 parking lot of Nürburgring GmbH and the former airfield in Mendig. In addition, there is a staging area in Adenau, which is mainly used for the overnight stay of the forces. And because the emergency shelter at the Leimersdorf sports field is currently unused, around 450 helpers currently spend the night there as well. "Here, however, we want to restore its use as an emergency shelter," says Heinz Wolschendorf.

(Original text: Thomas Weber, Translation: Mareike Graepel)