Italy faces potential heavy fines over its handling of the waste management crisis in the southern Campania region last year. The European Commission says it is taking Italy to Europe’s top court. Refuse collection in Naples and its surroundings was stopped around Christmas when most dumps were declared full. The pile-up became a health hazard. The backdrop of the case to go before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (ECJ) is considered to have both political and practical origin. Civil protection official Pia Bucella said: “To this day, there is still no functional operational system that takes care of waste from A to Z. The incinerator didn’t exist last year, and that is unchanged today.” The incinerator, designed to produce electricity using rubbish as fuel, has been built near Naples but has not opened yet. The country’s government has promised to make the mess a priority. But Brussels says the timetable given is not going to solve the problem fast enough.