An escalating trash crisis in Naples that has left the city in almost unlivable conditions since Monday. “Doctors described the situation as “dramatic” and warned that the city faced a health emergency,” according to a report from Italian news agency ANSA. Locals are fed up with the mountains of trash that have been piling up on the streets in and around Naples, and have even begun setting fire to the heaps of fresh garbage. However, this has only made matters even more hazardous.
According to Neapolitan doctors, “There’s a risk of infectious diseases given the rubbish combined with the heat. Burning the refuse makes matters worse by releasing dioxins into the atmosphere.”
So what exactly are they protesting? The underlying issue is their dissatisfaction with the way in which the government has been (or rather has not been) dealing with trash disposal. In fact, the Camorra, the Neapolitan Mafia, which has been known to regulate refuse disposal, is rumored to have instigated the protest. “Anti-mafia officials warned recently that the Camorra was actively sabotaging plans to build incinerators because it would undermine its dumping business.” There have been plans to build landfills in several other sites in the region of Campania, but residents from those towns have also come to Naples to protest in defense of their hometowns’ health and economic well-being. — Laura Cimperman