GARBAGE IN NAPLES
Fifteen years of emergency and government commissioners, parliamentary commissions, judicial investigations and billions. Billions of euros spent to deal with a tragedy, reported by newspapers and television around the world.
Naples submerged by waste, the “Campania felix” transformed in “infelix” (unhappy), poisoned by garbage bags, leachate and millions of eco-bales of trash stored there, where there were cultivated fields. In the eyes of all Europe, where in most countries the garbage disposal created a millionaire business, Naples became the birthplace of a paradox. Here the “rubbish” does not pay. Sure, we have garbage disposal, but abroad. Over the years, Campania raised many alarms but meanwhile the impact on the reputation of this region – as place of tourist interest – has been devastating. But, what is the situation now, two years after the official closing of the extraordinary commissioner prepared by the prior Berlusconi government, with a new law that entrust most of the tasks to the provinces under the control of the region?
The waste produced in Campania are going in the landfill still open, in some place outside the region, while a portion in the only incinerator of the region, in Acerra suburb, and another part in Holland. The first vessel for the incinerator in Rotterdam sailed away from Naples the last month: one thousand tons burned in less than seven hours, at a lower cost than offered by similar companies in Italy. This is because overseas, particularly in Northern Europe, the virtuous cycle of waste works so good that locally there is few garbage to process, and they need to import it to keep the system in continuous operation. Naples sends in Netherlands dry-waste only, it’s to say not wet-waste. From March, because an agreement between the Province of Naples and Dutch authorities, it will be possible to send everything, just the waste as it is gathered around. According to many, the transfer of waste abroad is positive, far away from the underworld business that for long operated in this field and worsen the situation in Naples. Although waste disposal in Campania is fully public now (everything is run by private companies), the bottleneck of the system is due to the fact that packing workplaces are overwhelmed: in seven plants in Campania there are currently 90 thousand tons of wet fraction still to arrange. The refurbishment (revamping) of the plants is not possible now, because requires a stop, that could aggravate the situation. The last dramatic waste crisis, in the past year, just was due to the saturation of the full landfill. The new regional plan envisages the creation in Naples of a new incinerator, while someone refuse flatly this, focusing instead on the reduction of unsorted waste, increasing the percentage of separate collection (currently placed under the 20 %) and disposal abroad.