The rubbish crisis in the Italian city of Naples may be coming to an end.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has inaugurated an incinerator in Acerra, 20 kilometers north of Naples, which is to burn garbage that has piled up in the area. The Bishop of the region refused to attend the ceremony, as a mark of protest. Security forces blocked hundreds of demonstrators trying to rally against what they said would be an “environmental disaster”. Refuse is expected to be burnt in the incinerator, without being sorted, which some say will endanger people’s health and the environment. The garbage crisis began in December, 2007, when collectors stopped picking up trash because dumps were full and residents protested against new ones. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rubbish piled up in the streets, with corruption and mafia involvement being held responsible. Berlusconi held his first cabinet in Naples last year, saying parliament would sit in the city until the garbage crisis was resolved. Since then, some old dumps have been closed and garbage has been shipped to Germany. Berlusconi says three more incinerators will be built.