With an estimated 10,000 tons of refuse lying in the streets of Naples and surrounding province, frustrated residents have started setting the trash piles ablaze to ward off disease and pests.
The EU has warned Italy that it will take action if the problem is not solved soon. In response, the Italian government has appointed a special commissioner to deal with the refuse emergency in Naples.
For weeks, demonstrators have been blocking roads and train lines in an effort to get the government’s to pay attention to their dire situation. However, by setting the mountains of abandoned garbage on fire, they worsen the health risk for residents: burning trash releases more dioxins into the air.