The tandem of records


It is difficult to explain precisely what is going on in the Campania region. When the responsibility lies simultaneously in the hands of politicians, entrepreneurs, organised crime and certain citizens, where does one begin?
A fish always starts smelling from the head-side.
Bassolino, “diessino-diossino” (Ds member and dioxin producer) was Mayor of Naples in 1993 and was re-elected in 1997. In the year 2000 he became Regional Premier of Campania, and was re-elected in 2006. Rosa Russo Jervolino, elected as Mayor of Naples in 2001, was re-elected in 2006.
Bassolino-Jervolino would appear to be a tandem brand, in that, when one of them leaves the Municipal Council, the other takes his place, while the former moves up to the Regional Council.
My dear residents of Campania, stop the tandem, perhaps then things will change.

I suspect that the whole palaver surrounding the refuse in Campania is merely a pretext for relaunching the incinerators. Those that Bersanetor and D’Alema sauvely call thermo-enhancers and that no one else in Europe is building any longer.
I have written about the reasons for a no vote, as well as what the alternatives are.
Print and circulate the pdf file.

Incinerators, why not?
1 – Incinerating refuse converts it into toxic nanoparticles and dioxins
2 – Incineration requires substances such as water, lime and bicarbonate, which increase the initial mass of the refuse
3 – One ton of refuse produces one ton of fumes and 300kg of solid ash, as well as certain other substances
- by law, solid ash must be disposed of at a waste disposal dump for hazardous toxic waste, a waste product that is infinitely more hazardous than that contained in the old waste disposal dumps
- the fumes contain 30kg of cancerogenous fly ash and 25kg of chalk
- incineration produces 650kg of polluted water requiring purification
4 – If inhaled into the lungs, the microscopic dust particles (2pm to 0,1pm) resulting from incineration will reach the bloodstream within 60 seconds, and all the other organs within 60 minutes
5 – The pathologies resulting from the inhalation include: cancer, foetal malformation, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer Syndrome, heart attacks and strokes. This has been proven by thousands of scientific studies
6 – The incinerators, also called thermo enhancers, were financed by means of a 7% levy on all Enel utility accounts, by linking them to renewable energy sources, together with waste products from the petrol-from-coal refineries. Without this tax the incinerators would not be economically viable. Provision was made for incinerators in the last Budget, but only for those already built.
7 – There are currently 51 incinerators in Italy and it would be interesting to set up metering stations to analyse the quantities of microscopic dust particles in the vicinity of each incinerator, and to monitor the rate of derived illnesses in the areas over the long-term.
8 – The only beneficiaries of the incineration of refuse are the petroleum magnates, incinerator constructors and the parties openly being financed by these companies.

What to do with the refuse.
1 – Reduce the amount of refuse produced (for example, Berlin has managed to reduce the quantity of refuse produced by 5% in a period of only six months)
2 – Door-to-door differentiated waste collection with detailed billing tariffs
3 – Recycling of all differentiated waste collected
4 – Any refuse remaining after the implementation of the first three points should be sent to specialist plants for mechanical selection of the remaining undifferentiated waste. Anything that is not recyclable can be treated in biological drying plants, without burning it
5 – Economically speaking, where there is a differentiated refuse collection system in operation, it is no longer viable to burn refuse, because:
- any wood can be sold on to chipboard manufacturing companies
- recycling paper produces more energy than that produced by burning it
- recycling plastic makes financial sense. 2/3kg of petroleum is required in order to produce one kg of plastic
6 – Differentiated refuse collection can make up as much as 70% of all refuse produced and the remaining 30% can be further reduced to 15-20% by means of biological drying. This quantity is less than, or the same as the amount of waste products from the incinerators. However, the former are inert, non-toxic products requiring lower management costs and fewer environmental and health implications.

If the waste disposal sector was not legally controlled by privately held monopolies financed with public funds, but instead there was some real market liberalisation, competition between the companies would affect the level of recycling, and incineration would become a thing of the past.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:06 PM in | Comments (11)
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Hello everyone and Mr. Spadini especially,
I am baffled and mesmerized at the same time, on the first comment you incite People to stand up for themselves, while in the second comment states the evolution requirements for the same people to succeed?
Which one is it, which one turns your light on?
As for me, I like to keep my feet on the ground, if hasn’t happen in 14 years I do believe it will not happen in the near future as well.
As a final observation, I most definitely do not point anyone in one direction or the other.
In any Recovery Step Program the first step is always the same:
1) Admit you have a problem!
2) Now we shall figure out how to fix it!
Sorry in my book after 14 years, either you take a dump or get the hell of the pod!
The future looks bright (Italian or English!) just make sure you wear dark shades!

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 10, 2008 05:48 PM

Apparently my comments hit the mark with Mr. Chiametti: but before one writes in English, one must learn to think, in Italian or any other language. Self-government means recycling, it mean electing officials that can do their job or demanding their dismissal, it means not standing for caos, it means asking of the police that they do their job, denouncing racketeering activities, etc. etc. These actions cannot be dictated or imposed: the people of Naples (or any other place) must do it by rising against their BAD and corrupted government. Democracy and good government are the result of a process for which the people of the country must fight and have sometimes given their lives: they are seldom imposed. It is a life-long belief and a way of life.
It ALSO starts with civil behaviour, anywhere, in full respect of others' civil rights to think differently. Even during soccer games! Even on the road! Do you mean that among the 4+ million inhabitants of the city of Naples there are none that can organize to demand a better government?Surely people can parade the streets for political meetings or strike to demand better wages: why not organize to improve their lives?Leading a movement to demand better conditions, better government, better schools, better sanitation, better health care and to be willing to work for it IS DEMOCRACY. This must be done in Naples by Neapolitans: people in Rome, Milan, or anywhere else cannot do it, on the contrary, people everywhere else in the country will have the feeling that this is another maneuver to sink more money in that bottomless pitt. Another "mafia" tactic to suck more money out of the situation.
Now, could you put that into Italian so that everyone in Naples can understand it or shall I do it?

Posted by: G.Spadini | January 9, 2008 05:21 PM

I have looked at the EfW incinerator concern issue for a long time. Why fundimentally are these plants a bad thing?

Whilst this EfW incinerators do drastically to minute levels; the electrostatic plate and baghouse filters are not able to stop much of the fine particle PM2.5 to PM 1 ecsaping. These are not specifically or continually monitored either at the stack or in the downwind community.These are a toxic composition in nature. The US definite study by Pope and Docherty, Lines that Connect, and Six City Study found something fundimental. There is not safe lower threshold concentration for PM2.5s (WID is 10mg/m3, ), even levels of 5mg/m3 cause heart disease, COPD, infant mortality and asthmas (reduced lung development in 12-18yr olds - this is the science published in the NEJM and AEAM. Period!

Beppe mentioned nano particles that are different from fine particles. This is the work of Drs Stephan Montanari and Antonetii Gatti. These nano particles are even more potent. I would like to see ESEM research that is able to detect "signature" incinerator nano particles metals in human organs, such as Vanadium, Titanium, Cadmium and Hexivalent Chrome. We need to see this same downwind population research as was found in Balkan Syndrome victims.

Posted by: Rob Whittle | January 8, 2008 10:51 PM

Am I missing something here?

Naples has a rubbish disposal problem because the camorra control the sites where rubbish has been dumped - charging money for the facility and using these sites to hide the far more toxic waste from everywhere else in Italy that they charge even more money for. Yes?

Now, the local and regional councils want to install and run incinerators that are needed to dispose of certain classes of waste - producing heat for local use as a by product. Yes?

Brescia seems to run its own incinerator for the benefit of the local communit without problem, and yet you say it is wrong. Yes?

So, the camorra onject to these incinerators as they will reduce the income they can squeeze from the local and regional councils - as well as giving them a problem with hiding the toxic waste materials they have been dumping everywhere they can for many, many year.

Tell me, is the problem the incinerators that will solve the problems or the camorra?

Posted by: Luke Dixon | January 8, 2008 11:29 AM

Perche' non spostare tutta la nettezza, non solo di Napoli, davanti e sopra alle ville, castelli, aerei e barche della CASTA?

Difficile pero', loro si sono creati un esercito di parassiti per difendersi e perpetuare il regime...

Certo con cosi' tanti parassiti che succhiano linfa l' albero-Italia mica puo' crescere tanto....

Posted by: fabrizio | January 7, 2008 02:44 AM

Hello everyone,
Please check your calendar Mr.Spadini, the world is in the 3rd Millennium, while your beloved Italian Language and Campania inhabitants are in Medieval Time.
If you want to waive an Italian flag, please do it in your home stadium or wherever you please, as for this side of the blog, well the idea is to infuse some reality and real life experiences into your obtuse mind.
Do you mean Napoletani should manage their affairs or are you volunteering for this job?
Please, are you a wise guy or the sunlight of Naples is working his way through your skull?
Either way, Incompetence come natural for people with mouths bigger than their brains, while Expertise, knowledge, credibility, morality are definitely not as easy to find as garbage in Campania.
More worthless discussion to come to gazebos near you, and please flock again to sign up for PD, PDL, PS (Poor Sucker!)!
The future looks mighty bright (Especially in Campania, Capri Ischia etc!) wear shades.

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | January 6, 2008 06:05 PM

Ciascuno ha il governo che si merita.....
ciascuno di noi ha il potenziale di essere il governo che si vorrebbe avere. Il governo sono le azioni che ci permettono di vivere civilmente. Autogoverniamoci, e civilmente. Cio' che e' bene per noi e' bene per la comunita'.
A proposito, perche' scrivere in inglese? abbiamo vergogna di essere, di parlare o scrivere ITALIANO? o forse i commenti sono diretti solo all'elite che pensa di conoscere l'inglese, e non agli Italiani? NOI siamo orgogliosi di essere chi siamo, cioe' ITALIANI.

Posted by: G. Spadini | January 6, 2008 03:40 PM

I have never seen so many technical misleading
statements like the ones shown in your article.
Dioxine, Seveso teached, will appear if the firing temperature is below a certain value,
if i am not wrong 900 deg, for that reasons the
serious incinerators(the ones built in Brescia and
Milan)they have a firing sustainig system and protections to avoid dangerous situations.
Downw-stream there are very efficient filters and
catchers coated by lime active carbons electrostatic precipitators and so on,and a continous emission monitoring system.
The calorific value of the average italian waste
is so high that 4KG of waste are equivalent to
1KG of diesel oil(0.4 euro/kg of waste).
My second consideration is that wastes are produced everywhere in this world , WHY ONLY
When you speak with a napolitan intellectual,
including many tv-showmen, they look to you
from top to dawn as if the civilizatio would
have been invented by them .......very good!
Thank god our president is allerted, all of us
we feel much better!?!
There is only one place in similar conditions:
the external district of Calcutta.

Posted by: maurizio confalonieri | January 6, 2008 05:25 AM

basta piangere e basta mandar i vostri rifiuti in altre parti d'italia...e ora che troviate una soluzione, non capisco come mai il problema rifiuti ci sia solo a napoli! ma a roma come fanno?

Posted by: giulia | January 6, 2008 04:36 AM

As Italian born citizens residing abroad, as well as my wife, we feel ashamed of the behaviour of the Italian government (read its representatives): in any other civilized country, the ministers of the interiors, the minister of health and possibly those of economic development, of the environment and few more, as well as the president of the region of Campania and the mayor of Naples would have been asked by the prime minister (i.e. Mr. Prodi) to resign.... It is unthinkable that it should take 12 years to build an incinerator (two more years hence to complete according to estimates)
The garbage collection situation in Naples and the Campania region are being reported every day on foreign TV's, further, they are being linked to mafia activities... that much for the image it gives the Italian people all over the world. I suggest the people of Naples should discharge their garbage in front of the Town Hall, so they should have a response from their so-called leaders.

However, with reference to the article posted on the blog, I would like to submit the following comments:
. all of the measures indicated in the articles against incinerators are valid and true;
. it has been proven that recycling substantially reduces the amount of garbage to be trated, hence lesser cost of waste disposal, additionally saves natural resources for paper production, glass, metals, etc. etc.
. further separation of bio-degradable organic masses that could be used as fertilizers is possible, but requires very strict monitoring, hence not economically feasible.
. production of bio-gas has been tried successfully in several countries and on a small , experimental scale, in Italy as well.
The writer has apparently a bias toward "ecological" solutions, possibly because he knows no other. The solutions suggested may in fact damage the environment in the presence of toxic substances in the waste mass. I maintain that there is an additional PROVEN solution. The recycling activities in Germany and elsewhere are only part of the solution: several countries such as Finland and Germany among others, use gasification processes specific to urban waste. Since the early 90's Germany has launched its first project "schwartze pumpe" consisting of 10 unit treating contaminated materials such as residues of chemical plants, refineries, sewage treatment plants, urban discharge, non-recyclable plastics, and any other residue that cannot be further treated or recycled. The gasification process (a patented process) requires burning at very high temperatures in a closed, controlled environment that reduce toxins and other air-borne toxic particles to levels which are well below acceptable levels, namely 1/10th those established by the European Community, with NO DIOXIN emissions, such as incinerators or the planned "termovalorizzatori".
The process produces "syngas" as well as agricultural fertilizers, methanol, urea, ammonia, syn fuels and a host of other products. This synthetic gas "syngas" can then be used for residential and commercial uses, as well as electrical production (something which Italy is very deficient of and which robs the country of very important currency).
Naturally, the installation of such plants requires farsight, planned development, substantial investments, long range policies which have to be independent from political interests, and recognition that Italy IS an industrialized country (even though it now lags behind most Europen countries). Also, the Italian RAI network ran a documentary in October 2007 on how things are done in the Principalty of Monaco, which uses another process. Their plant stands in the CENTER of the capital and is undistinguishable from other buildings. Surely in Italy we can do the same: it is not necessary to do better or different or "design", just doing as well would be doing SOMETHING! Why re-invent the wheel!
I remember the time when the Adriatic sea was polluted by human waste ('60's). It behooved the civilized community, the health of the residents as well as the development of the tourist industry of that coast to build water treatment plants.... it is now time to clean up our act...... from garbage. (for more information about gasification, please read , among others: Buttker and Seifert: Syngas and Fuel from Gasification of Coal and Wastes at Schwartze Pumpe (SVZ) presented at 21st World Gas Conference, Nice, 2000)
Another comment on another subject: why write english and leave most Italian people in the dark about these issues?

Posted by: P.D.Lessieur | January 6, 2008 01:13 AM

incinarators? Stupid idea! Btw ireland r goin ahead with them despite protests! As for italys woes i say stop complaining and do sumtin. My plan buy more! Forget about economic predictions-people can buy themselves out of recession. If u all buy more Italian goods then the economy and ur lives will improve. Buy that suit u always wanted, the new sofa, a new car. Treat urself. If u need more money take another job, donigjt classes. Pay ur taxes! Put ur distrust for politicians aside and take solace in the fact that by payin tax ur country is benefitting. Don't pay protection money. Have more children, and make sure both parents help out! Come on now! You can fix Italy yourself, just stop moaning about mastella and prodi etc Together you are more powerful than the government! Listen please! Italy's future is in your hands, oh and recycle,even if u hve to make an effort its worth it

Posted by: ca benuo | January 6, 2008 12:28 AM

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