The prospect of more rubbish being dumped in the streets of Naples prompted disturbances between police and demonstrators last night.
At the origin of one dispute, fears among rubbish collectors that hundreds of seasonal workers may lose their jobs.
At the same time local residents tried to block lorries from getting through, believing that their dump was full-up. One witness said a couple of thousand people turned out to protest.
After a spectacular build-up of garbage in the city three years ago, the EU took action against Italy for breaching waste disposal directives.
For years the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra, have been singled out for blame, accused of infiltrating the lucrative refuse collection market and dumping huge amounts of waste from the north in the area around Naples.