Last Saturday, the European Commission threatened Italy with fines and sanctions if the 2,400 tons of garbage that has been left on the streets of Naples after the last garbage war does not get cleaned up.

Image by Boa-sorte&Careca (source: Flickr)

The residents of the nearby town of Terzigno, just outside of Naples, have been violently protesting for over a week, as a reaction to the smell and filth pile up from a local dumpsite. They are planning to open a new trash-dumping site in a close by nature conservation area.

According to EU Environmental Commissioner Janez Potocnik, the violence and conflicts between the residents of Terzigno and the local police shows that Italy has been unable to resolve the garbage crisis since the last one in 2007. Potcnik stated that

“The Campania Region still has no waste management plan and the Acerra incinerator, the only one existing in Campania, is not functioning properly and is already at full capacity. This means that in Campania, the authorities are neither able to carry out a program to dispose of the old bundled waste nor to manage the new daily waste production.”

In March, the EU already established that Italy is not following EU regulations when it comes to garbage disposal. Last Saturday, Potocnik threatened with sanctions and fines if the situation is not resolved quickly.

As a result of this warning, Italy feels left out by Europe as the country would rather see the EU help find a solution to the problem than getting judged from a far.

Politicians blame the garbage problem mainly on the camorra, the local organized crime. The city of Naples, as well as the surrounding areas, have suffered from garbage wars for years as a result of corruption. Giuseppe Pisanyu, chairman of the anti-mafia commission, says to be aware of this problem and believes structural changes are needed to help fight this problem.