The plague is all around us

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Naples is only the tip of the iceberg. Italy is a peninsula that is crisscrossed by mountains of refuse, embellished with plains full of toxic waste, broached by rivers of hazardous liquids and surrounded by a sea of shit.
Naples is reflected everywhere. Unauthorised landfill sites, unbearable stenches, putrefying sores left out in the open, and poisons dumped in the farmers’ fields have all become a feature of the Italian landscape. It’s enough to take a bike ride out into the country in order to discover these new treasures. All you need is a camera and a protective mask that is able to keep out the pestilent smells. We can all become rubbish hunters.
Naples is not alone. Naples is anywhere where there is a corrupt local council. A party that uses the “exchange” vote in order to swell the ranks of employees in the refuse collection companies. Wherever there is a company that pays criminals to dump refuse in the fields, combined with fertile ground. Naples is reflected wherever the residents turn a blind eye because of fear, indifference or absence of State control. Wherever there is some or other mayor, councillor or parliamentarian who gets himself elected thanks to the payment of refuse collection bribes, or close links with the environmental mafia.
Refuse is the symbol of the second Republic. It is the parties’ most lucrative business venture. The black hole of State concessions and the municipal services organisations, which are quoted on the Stock Exchange and are filled to the brim with public officials. The parties are a like a veritable octopus. They have devoured the entire Italian industrial system. All that remains are the incinerators and the waste disposal business.
Naples is reflected in Castellamonte, in the green hills of the Canavese area, where certain mayors and managers and employees of the refuse removal and waste disposal company ASA have landed up under investigation or under house arrest. The Prosecution has accused them of having dumped the rubbish on farm fields and ploughed it into the ground, or having stored it in unauthorised landfill sites. Naples is reflected in Piemonte where, even before the findings of the inquiry was made public: “The mayors have taken sides with the people under investigation” and “The workers support top management”.
Naples is reflected in Lombardy, in the Gorla Maggiore and Olgiate landfill sites. In the Rubbish Connection inquiry. Instead of being processed, the rubbish from the South was being laundered by mixing it in with industrial waste, after which it was being reflected in the documentation as being non-hazardous waste and sent off to Grottaglie, in the Province of Taranto.
Naples is reflected in the five hundred thousand cubic metres of rubbish lying in an unauthorised landfill site in Puglia, which has polluted the Cervaro River.
Naples is reflected in the degradation of the “Parco dell’Etna” national park where the unauthorised dumping sites enjoy greater protection than does the nature itself, resulting in a frightening example of degradation.
Just a few words are all that would be necessary in order to change everything: “Differentiated waste collection” and “Rubbish is a resource”. The plague is all around us. Naples may well represent your area, your councillor, your mayor or your party. An epidemic transmitted by indifference.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 03:46 AM in | Comments (12)
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I would refer everyone to see the excellent 2007 documentary about Campania's pollution:

" Biutiful Cauntri"

http://www.biutifulcauntri.it/

Posted by: Ed Farrell | June 12, 2008 01:59 PM


I have an idea about what could be done to stem this tide a bit. Can someone connect me with either Beppe Grillo or someone associated with the Italian academic, scientific, or public health community? I need to connect to someone in Italy who can communicate at least a little in both Italian and English. My idea has the potential to minimize the horror delineated here AND to generate income for those involved in the efforts to fight this abomination. Grazie mille, Richard Oxman at headburg@yahoo.com.

Posted by: Richard Oxman | June 9, 2008 10:24 PM


Ciao, Edededed:

Grazie for your response. What is your guess regarding WHEN such monstrosities might be imposed on the Bay of Naples? Where else are such abominations likely to be constructed? People in the U.S. are asking me why certain areas such as Tuscany seem to not be plagued by toxic dumping. Answer me either here or at headburg@yahoo.com. Thanks, Richard

Posted by: Richard Oxman | June 9, 2008 07:52 AM


I would like to have a list of the very worst centers of toxicity. Places where carcinogenic waste makes a river, a hill or a habitat uninhabitable... in Italy. Is the list that Beppe gives here the best available? If so, let me know at headburg@yahoo.com. Grazie mille. I'd like to know how many of Beppe's readers see this comment, and can understand my English.

Posted by: Richard Oxman | June 9, 2008 03:06 AM


I understand ICI as being a municipal tax on homeowners. The larger the house the higher the tax. Where I live the municipal tax is vital for city finances. Without house-taxes, garbage couldn't be collected, roads and other infrastructures couldn't be maintained, snow couldn't be cleared, trees couldn't be nursed and all the other important tasks that keep a city and that give the citizens a sense of stability, confidence, pride and make them want to participate. Remove the house-tax and the city will slowly deteriorate into shabbiness. The city will be in dire straits and that means that there will be no money to fix sidewalks, keep the city clean, keep the parks neat and trimmed. Garbage will not be picked up and other vital tasks will not be done. Whenever and wherever that happens, then the city will start to decay making way for disorder and chaos. When that happens, crime increases, citizens are suspious of one another, pent-up anger increases, everybody goes around pissing-and-moaning, and blaming the terrible conditions of the city on everything and everybody except for the fact that the city has no money to do anything. But, house-tax to be effective, has to have effective administrators. Civic administrators with a sense of duty and understanding. Administrators that understand the importance of maintaining the seemingly trivial particulars as well as understanding the larger picture. If they abolish ICI Italian cities will deteriorate faster than they are now.

Posted by: louis pacella | June 8, 2008 08:11 PM


"Just a few words are all that would be necessary in order to change everything: “Differentiated waste collection” and “Rubbish is a resource”.
Thank you Beppe for saying this. Now let us start, you have the power to do so. Let us sort everything, paper, glass. etc. and put it into train wagons and send it to buyers abroad. Wait and see what will happen with waste mafia, they will sit at the street as beggars
RS

Posted by: Reinhard Stranz | June 8, 2008 11:34 AM


Help me , as a non Italian understand what will happen without ICI revenue. What was ICI money used for?What will be cut.?Where will the money come from other sources to do what ICI did??? People who own apartments generally have more funds than renters. This tastes like a big box of chocolate candy for an instant high which may finish with a need for a crash diet.

Posted by: joan geller | June 8, 2008 11:08 AM


Help me , as a non Italian understand what will happen without ICI revenue. What was ICI money used for?What will be cut.?Where will the money come from other sources to do what ICI did??? People who own apartments generally have more funds than renters. This tastes like a big box of chocolate candy for an instant high which may finish with a need for a crash diet.

Posted by: joan geller | June 8, 2008 11:07 AM


Help me , as a non Italian understand what will happen without ICI revenue. What was ICI money used for.What will be cut. Where will the money come from other sources to do what ICI did??? People who own apartments generally have more funds than renters. This tastes like a big box of chocolate candy for an instant high which may finish with a crash diet.

Posted by: joan geller | June 8, 2008 11:04 AM


Help me , as a non Italian understand what will happen without ICI revenue. What was ICI money used for.What will be cut. Where will the money come from other sources to do what ICI did??? People who own apartments generally have more funds than renters. This tastes like a big box of chocolate candy for an instant high which may finish with a crash diet.

Posted by: joan geller | June 8, 2008 11:04 AM


See "You Live in Mondragone" for some interesting angles on this same topic... at http://oxtogrind.org/archive/248. Bravo for Beppe for focusing on this CRUCIAL subject.

Posted by: Richard Oxman | June 8, 2008 07:27 AM


Been there, seen that. (Smelt it too.)

Posted by: Rolly Wheeler | June 8, 2008 04:33 AM


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