Don’t put your trash in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard, Don’t put your trash in my backyard, my backyard’s full. from my favorite children's round
People have been asking me to comment on the garbage situation in Naples. I must confess, however, that after reading about 16 different articles over 29 pages of print, I still don’t know the true root cause for this calamity (I don't think anyone does, although Beppe Grillo, a comic turned political activist, takes no prisoners in deftly pointing out all the Usual Suspects in his blog. You can check out his SPAZZATOUR video (with foreign correspondents in tow) here.
Except for the fact that garbage is piled up to the sky, the amount of toxins in the air is at higher levels than if there'd been a massive blowout from Mt Vesuvius, and, the toxin levels grow exponentially the more garbage gets set afire by people taking the situation into their own hands. Even the kids didn’t want to attend school (seeing there are no school buses to be blocked by the garbage it must be the wily neapolitans’ way to get a Snow Day -- after all, it is January).
But, it looks like the authorities have decided to send in the troops; not to maintain order or anything plausible like that, but to physically haul the trash outta there (and to where, pray tell?).
So, instead of reading some insightful critique, I will give you only a few ‘talking points’, surrounding what confuses me the most:
- if they say that ‘everyone’ is interested in garbage removal from corrupt politicians to the camorra to the companies hauling the stuff, why is no one capitalizing on this obvious flood in raw materials? You’d think they’d be scrambling to haul it away to illegal incinerators or sell it to Romania or whatever, but that just ain’t the case.
- if residents don’t want incinerators and whatnot near them, what is their choice? Certainly they can’t truly believe that mile high garbage and all the pollutants that come with it (not to mention the stench and the physical impossibility of getting yourself around it) is a better alternative?
- if the most successful and largest company in Italy is the Mafia/Camorra (due I would say in large part to their complete mobility of employees – and bosses, come to think of it, not to mention the enormous tax savings, and of course, very few pensions to pay out later and, no commission payments to Visa or Amex), why don’t they just call ‘em in there to do what they do best? Haul out garbage. Cash in the returns.
- And as for returns, who ever knew there was so much money to be had recycling or removing garbage? Why??? I cannot quite grasp where the money comes from picking up peoples’ waste and then burning it.
My only solution to this whole predicament is not to bring in the military, but rather, bring in all those pyromaniacs who each summer set the entire Southern countryside all ablaze.
You could save the trees and clear the trash at the same time.