So, when Rome's dump is closing (and the protests continue in Naples to bar authorities from opening new dumps), one starts to wonder...where are we going to put the 3 million yearly tons of garbage? A reader pleaded for me to write about their plight...
|Europe's largest land fill|
Photo courtesy of http://ecoitaliasolidale.bloog.it
by way of blogger SustainableRome
Admittedly, I am not usually on the side of the protesters. People want to be able to toss their litter cavalierly out car windows and leave it for 'someone else' to depose of later - preferably as far away as possible, like in Nigeria [It is such a part of life here - and everywhere worldwide - I have dedicated an entire chapter to environmental issues in my forthcoming book]. I will never forget the days gazing at the view out my Amex tower office window and beholding the sight of The Garbage Barge, parading up and down the Hudson river, looking for a place to dump its load. In any case, Italy is a slim country. Inevitably, you're gonna end up tossing the crap in someone's backyard.
The Lazio region solution is to thumb their noses at EU rules while telling locals to hold their noses after they open a new toxic dump in a fairly residential area. Plans are to open it near Riano, a lovely place with rolling hills and speckled with beautiful homes, and, atop of Tiber river tributaries. Seeing that most of these homes get their fresh water from that very source, cancer rates should be rising to levels seen only by Erin Brockovich.
But is there another solution when land fills are filled to the brim? I am no expert on this stuff, but I can't understand why the focus is on 'fill 'er up' rather than on breaking her down through the rite of recycling. Milan placed garbage cans inside each and every building, and residents were fined for flippantly tossing their paper in the plastic bin (we were all forced to share the pain--to the point that some of us (well, most likely just me) fashioned themselves as courtyard Carabinieri -- to the point that I was ready to put CCTV cameras outside my balcony window in order to catch the waste-mixing culprits). Milan's recycling is over 50%. In Rome, where dumpsters overflow and residents resist dividing their waste, it's clear to see that reaching 25% is a stretch.
Garbage can also be turned into energy. Again, why these 'termovalorizzatori' aren't utilized is beyond me. According to the investigative reporting of Striscia la notizia, in Naples and Bari energy-producing incinerators get built (with EU money no less), and then abandoned as monuments in a sort of museum of what technology could do if someone simply turned on the 'ON' switch.
I'd be quite interested in having you dish your own dirt on the topic--