The Naples Garbage Mafia

Naples Bay, from Wikipedia

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

There is an interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the disaster that is the Naples garbage crisis of 2008:

‘NAPLES, ITALY — This may be the only city on Earth where the nation’s prime minister was forced to send a well-armed military regiment to guard the garbage dump. The soldiers are dug in, ready to fight.’

‘At this moment, it’s not clear whether they are preparing to take on residents, who riot and rampage every time the city tries to open a new dump, injuring police and firefighters – or the Mafia that controls the region’s refuse business and has been known to decapitate enemies with a circular saw.’

‘No matter. That’s what it has come to here, lending proof to the popular aphorism making the rounds in Brussels: Naples is the worst-managed city in the worst-managed country in Europe.’

‘No doubt you’ve heard of the Naples garbage crisis. By one count, probably incomplete, it has spawned more than 3,000 English-language news stories over the past year, most of them short and formulaic: No one collects the city’s garbage because there’s no longer any place to put it. The landfills are full. So the trash piles up, sometimes to second-story windows, and as the weeks pass, it gives off an ever-more-putrid stench. Occasionally the army arrives with bulldozers to plow paths through the garbage so the kids can get to school.’

Image by 1chik1 from Wikipedia.


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