Photo: simonov under a Creative Commons license.
Naples has a major trash problem, and it's nothing new. The City's sanitation department is heavily influenced by mafia control, and as a result its streets are often littered with uncollected trash, and the improper disposal of toxic waste poses a major problem. And with local elections being held today and tomorrow, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berusconi needed a quick fix. So he called in 200 soldiers to remove 4,000 tons of garbage from the streets, and not for the first time. Naples has been dealing with its trash problem for a long time- as far back as 1994, the European Union declared and official environmental emergency in the City. In 2009, a sunken ship full of toxic waste was found off the southern Italian coast. The Naples Mafia was the main suspect, and it was estimated that 32 more ships would be found.
TreeHugger Alex posted a great breakdown of why the problem is so bad two years ago, and little has changed since. So until Naples musters the political will to kick out the mob and get its act together, we can count on this happening again, and again.
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Some good examples for Naples - cool ways cities take out their trash:
Should We Replace Garbage Trucks With Vacuum Tubes?
Duluth, Minn. Teams Up with the Sun to Take Out its Trash
Beijing to Shoot Giant Deodorant Guns at Smelly Landfills