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Waste pollutes Adriatic coast

by Staff Writers
Podgorica, Montenegro (AFP) Dec 7, 2010
A Montenegrin beach on the Adriatic coast has been left covered in plastic bottles, medical waste and parts from household appliances, an environmental group said Tuesday.

The waste was carried to the beach by the Bojana river which forms a natural border between Montenegro and Albania and flows into the Adriatic near the southern Montenegrin town of Ulcinj whose 12-kilometre- (nine mile-) long beach was littered with the waste.

Dzelal Hodzic, head of the Green Step non-governmental organisation, told AFP such pollution was a regular occurrence but that it had increased this year due to higher water levels.

"Due to the increased level of the river Bojana, water picked up all the waste along the river banks and flowed into the Adriatic sea," added Djordje Dabovic, secretary for environment in Ulcinj.

The waste came both from Albanian and Montenegrin side, he said.

Daliborka Pejovic, head of the Montenegrin government's environmental agency, told local media the problem would be solved only when both states "regulate serious communal problems, (and) build up dumps to treat the waste properly."

Both Ulcinj and nearby Ada Bojana on the Bojana river are tourist attractions.

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha was due to visit Montenegro next week to discuss problems the two countries had over flooding, but the visit was postponed due to severity of floods in northern Albania, a government official in Podgorica told AFP.

Last month, Croatia's foreign ministry summoned Albania's ambassador to demand an explanation for a large quantity of waste, believed to be from Albania, that polluted Croatia's southern coast.

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