Thousands have taken to the streets in the Italian city of Naples to protest against a mounting waste crisis. Rubbish has not been collected here since December 21, as there is no more space at local waste disposal sites. The government has sent in the army to help clean up the streets and appointed a former police chief to try to find solutions.
But many locals are not convinced. They are also against a plan to reopen an overflowing rubbish dump as a short-term solution. The government has tried for years to improve Naples’ waste disposal system, which is said to be in the hands of the local mafia, the Camorra.
Roberto Saviano, who’s written about the Camorra, said: “Why do people rebel here and not in Lombardy? It’s because they have no faith in institutions. People fear that a new dump will not be used to stock what they are told, but what the Comorra decides.”
In the meantime, some people have begun to clear the rubbish off the streets themselves.
One man said: “We’re cleaning and the children are helping as well. It’s so we can show we have a sense of civic duty and we’re not Camorra.”
Despite these efforts, however, the question of where the rubbish will go is yet to be resolved.