The big stink

EU charges Italy for Naples trash

Editorial Staff
May 15, 2008

With some 30,000 tonnes of rubbish still lining the streets in the Campania region, the European Commission (EC) said it is bringing Italy before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over the ongoing trash crisis in Naples and the Campania region.


Italy has received repeated warnings for violating the EU's Waste Framework Directive as the continuing trash emergency in Campania risks the spread of disease and pollution in the air, water and land.


‘The piles of uncollected rubbish in the streets of Campania graphically illustrate the threat to the environment and human health that results when waste management is inadequate', said EU Environment commissioner Stavros Dimas.


For decades, Campania has suffered numerous trash emergencies with nowhere to put its waste. Meanwhile, Naples continues to struggle with a backlog of rubbish after the garbage collection system collapsed in December 2007.


Although a special waste emergency commissioner Gianni De Gennaro was appointed in January, the EC believes that steps taken by the outgoing government to resolve the crisis were not satisfactory. ‘The measures being taken are inadequate to address Campania's waste problems in the long term and prevent a repeat of the unacceptable events seen over the past year', said an EC spokesman.


The EC will also send Italy an official warning about its failure to adopt a regional waste management plan in the central region of Lazio, the only region that has no plan in effect, an infringement of an ECJ ruling in June 2007. ‘Italy needs to give priority to putting in place effective waste management plans in Campania and Lazio as well as the collection and treatment infrastructure needed to implement them properly', Dimas said. Italy could face hefty fines if it fails to adequately deal with its waste management issues nationwide.

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