Public institutions tried to develop new legal frameworks for monitoring waste management, but these efforts failed to lead to any real improvement of the situation. However, this measure was not effective and when landfills were saturated in February , the State of Emergency was announced. The Prefect was unable to handle the emergency and in March , the task of resolving the crisis was handed over to the President of the region, Rastrelli.
The plan failed. The Decree first prioritised the implementation of waste production prevention policies, followed by waste collection, recycling, re-use or combustion measures.
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Then the Decree made provisions for the limitation of waste disposal to prevent health and environmental contamination risks. It also established obligations for waste producers and managers to identify and register transport, and to provide environmental declarations. Unfortunately, the Decree had no impact in practice. Because waste treatment was dysfunctional the need for new waste disposal sites kept growing to the point where new landfills were created and some old ones were reopened Figure 2.
Increasing pressure to dispose of waste lead to an unleashing of local community protest.
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Commissary Rastrelli was given four months to write a tender for a year urban waste management plan for Campania. The main criteria used by the Commissariat to select the winning bid was the speed of construction and the minimization of costs, as a quick solution was desired for dealing with waste. FIBE was an A. FIBE in comparison offered a 0. On the 20th of March , with Decree no. The Acerra incinerator has been in operation since March , while the second facility, located in Santa Maria della Fossa Figure 4 is still on stand-by.
A highly controversial aspect of the agreement made with FIBE was that the consortium was given sole authority to select the construction sites of the infrastructures, completely independently of public administrative bodies. This led to speculative activities in the rental of land by the Camorra, as well as numerous environmental and health impacts, as legal requirements for Environmental Impact Assessments EIA prior to infrastructure construction were derogated by the Commissary through the use of his extraordinary powers granted under the State of Emergency.
The extraordinary powers granted to the Commissary enabled rapid decision-making but also created a lack of transparency which enabled the taking of many illegal decisions. This was certainly the case in the choice of waste transport companies and the control of ecoball stocking and landfill sites, which were not coincidentally based in mafia territory. Another significant decision of the Commissary was to exclude municipalities and other local entities from waste management plans Commissariat Decree of With RDF storage sites filling to capacity and the construction of the incinerators proceeding very slowly the Commissary has had to help FIBE find new storage sites for the inert and humid parts of treated waste.
The region has been obstructed by waste on numerous occasions, and is still blocked frequently today with streets full of garbage. A critical issue of the waste treatment process as it has been conceived in Campania is the poor quality of RDF, or ecoballs derived from waste see Figure 5. Judicial sequestrations have shown that infrastructures were not able to separate the various types of waste and the RDF produced was practically impossible to burn.
In these ecoballs, percentages of arsenic over the legal limits were found, together with whole objects e. The humid fraction was furthermore too wet for incineration in thermovalorizors. RDF was supposed to contain a maximum. Numerous police investigations looked into the quality of ecoballs piled in stocking areas and production facilities. RDF sites were put under preventive sequestration by a decision of the Naples court on the 12th of May , but the management of these sites was handed back to FiBE — Impregilo on the condition that it abided by the law and its contract.
FIBE however violated these conditions repeatedly. On January 26th, a law recognised the responsibility of FIBE — Impregilo for the waste management crisis, stating that the company should continue to manage the waste treatment facilities and stocking sites until a new consortium was selected. Two European tenders were launched but to this day, none have been awarded.
The procedure is still in process and it is anticipated that it will lead to monetary sanctions against Italy. Three magistrates affirmed that owing to the inadequacy or lack of waste transformation facilities, the waste cycle as it had been conceived in the contract signed with the Impregilo could never have worked. Both Impregilo and Bassolino, who was the Commissary for the waste emergency between and , hid the situation even though they had been informed of irregularities: the RDF plants were built on waste management sites different from those projected, the ecoballs were irregular and the quality analyses were falsified.
On August 8th , the Court ordered the confiscation of nine sites where three million tonnes t of Campanian low-quality ecoballs were being stored. Judge Rosanna Saraceno, in charge of the preliminary enquiries, deemed the stocking sites located between the provinces of Naples and Caserta illegal controlled landfills. According to judges, RDF should have been kept in prepared dumpsites instead of stockpiled, as they violated the chemical composition required by law.
FIBE, in charge of the stocking facilities, was ordered by the Courts to treat the ecoballs so that they could be burned under existing norms. This trial is still ongoing and scheduled sessions are frequently cancelled. In , with waste treatment capacity beyond saturation, the streets of the provinces of Naples and Caserta became re-filled with waste and another State of Emergency was declared.
In May , in order to deal with the crisis, the national government implemented Decree 90, the most recent and most powerful ruling approved in Campania for waste management. Unfortunately it is also the least respectful of environmental and human rights. As Emergency Commissary he was able to derogate any law he judged necessary for implementation of the Decree. The Decree planned the construction of 9 new landfills in the region and 4 incinerators; two in the province of Naples one in Acerra and the other in the city of Naples , one in the province of Salerno, and one in Caserta Santa Maria la Fossa.
No tender was ever released for the construction of these plants. Instead the company was personally selected by Bertolaso, favouring the interests of the same lobbyists that created the waste emergency in the first place, illustrating that no real measures were taken under this Decree to stop corruption and crime in waste management. The incinerator of Acerra for example Figure 6 , which opened in March was built by Impregilo under Decree 90, despite the ongoing trial against the company and without the preparation of an environmental impact assessment as required by law.
This incinerator was authorised to burn several types of waste, including very low quality ecoballs produced from by FIBE. This consortium has also been given responsibility by Bertolaso for the construction and management of the Naples incinerator. At the moment, the Santa Maria della Fossa incinerator has not been built as the sites designated for its construction have been sequestered from FIBE.
The measures and management plans implemented so far by authorities have so far been done so with disregard for environmental and health protection. Despite decades of investment and construction of a huge infrastructure complex, the management of waste treatment in Campania is still ineffective. In other European countries this would seem inconceivable but unfortunately in Italy this is quite common, and as the many enquiries and trials have shown there are two main reasons for this: corruption and mafia.
Since the beginning of the waste problem in Campania, an illegal waste market has evolved as mafia have infiltrated local and regional waste management.
This explains, for instance, the presence of toxic waste within the ecoballs produced by the RDF plants. Favouritism towards mafia-related companies is a common practice in Campania and, judicial investigations have revealed evidence of close links between the mafia and authorities at all levels, from the Emergency Commissariat to individual municipalities. However, the identification of such links by Judicial investigations is not enough to stop the phenomenon, as companies branded as having mafia ties often change their names, administrators, and legal representation while keeping the same office, the same telephone and fax, and even the same trucks and drivers.
In addition to mafia infiltration of legal waste management operations, there also exists a parallel illegal hazardous waste market, which handles waste coming from all over the country, especially from northern industries. Campania is propitious for these activities as the highest-ranking region in Italy for environmental crime, where As a result of this process, the territory of Campania has been invaded and poisoned by waste for about 20 years.
The province of Caserta is the most affected area because its geography of vast plains and numerous natural caves is particularly well-suited to hiding and containing waste. The province is also under the control of the powerful Casalesi clan, pioneers of the trade. The hinterland of the province of Naples is another important area of waste criminality.
This is a frequent phenomenon in Campania where there are about 17 illegal fires every day see Figure 7. The province of Salerno also registers an increasing number of officially recognised illegal landfills. Legambiente , , It is a major sector of organised criminal activity, especially the industrial waste market with its smaller infrastructure needs and higher profits. Infiltration at all levels of the waste cycle allows mafia to control every detail. For example, waste received from producers can be re-categorised, changing its official toxic status.
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Sometimes producers do not even declare their waste generation figures so mafia-related companies make the declarations themselves. It can be basic urban waste but also street sweepings or old bills from the Bank of Italy. All sorts of hazardous waste of varying toxicity is also treated: toxic powders and mud, soil mixed with highly toxic substances such as arsenic, mercury, and all sorts of metal toxic components, hospital waste, sewage waste, industrial mud and oils from hydrocarbons mixed with ground urban waste, used automobiles, inert materials, soils from graveyards and even special paper tissues for cleaning bovine calves.
What matters to dealers is not the waste itself but the opportunity for profit it represents. Legambiente Industrial waste treatment prices 0. In contrast, prices for urban waste management 0. In a police operation revealed this as one of the biggest waste traffic operations in the region, controlled by the Casalesi clan. During a period of 6 months, 40, t of waste were transported from the north of Italy to the south, mainly to the Giuglianese area, and to the northern area of the province of Naples. This was mostly hazardous industrial waste, although there was also urban waste present.
Once the waste arrived in Campania, it was declassified with the complicity of analysis laboratories, at a price of 10 lire or 0. Then the waste. The final burial of waste was made possible with authorization from complicit local public administrators, or by corrupt land owners at a price of 0. The total business was estimated at 3. It is difficult to completely and comprehensively assess the externalities of contamination from urban and hazardous waste in Campania, as some regions are well documented but others are incompletely, or have not at all been studied.
One of the major factors affecting the quality of soil and other environmental components like watercourses and underground water reservoirs is the contamination of specific locations of waste storage facilities, especially in Naples and Caserta, the most affected provinces. In general, though, urban areas are more monitored than rural and industrial ones. In Campania, the Commissariat initiated the contaminated sites census in and by it was estimated that there were as many as sites contaminated in the region Figure 9.
The province of Naples registers the greatest number, , of which are private and public areas. For ten years, inhabitants have witnessed and paid for the consequences of daily illegal waste burning. Of the 39 landfills in the area, 27 are believed to host toxic waste.
The management of national protected areas is directly controlled by the Environmental and Territory Guardianship Ministry. Biodiversity research in these areas has been limited to specific systematic groups; nevertheless, the risk of extinction of some species of flora and fauna is certain due to soil and water contamination from illegal dumpsites. It is relevant here to emphasize the threat of the re-opening of dumpsites planned in the Vesuvius national park. Current levels of human pressure exceed the biological capacities of the territory, which also has the highest levels of soil consumption in Italy.
Other environmental pressures come from the ageing of the agricultural workforce and the low level of uptake of this work by younger generations. The Ecological Footprint of an area is a measurement of how resource use exceeds environmental limits.
Waste Crisis in Campania, Italy | CEECEC
Messina, Mia Terra, The first cause of mortality for young people was tumours, data that can be interpreted as being directly linked to exposure to contamination from waste. Respiratory illnesses like bronchitis and asthma are also increasing. The presence of waste has frequently been recognised as an important health risk. In , the Department of Civil Protection implemented a study on waste impacts in Campania. In the first phase of the project, data from the Mortality Epidemiological Observatory for the years and from the Campania Congenital Malformation Record for were gathered for the municipalities of the provinces of Naples and Caserta Figure 10 , where the highest concentrations of illegal dumpsites and landfills are found.
Twenty types of tumours and 11 typologies of congenital malformation described in the scientific literature were found and linked to the presence of dumpsites and incinerators. In the second phase of the study, the landfills and dumps of the two provinces were mapped and studied, with sites, most of them illegal, identified and classified according to the level of risk present. In the last phase of the research, the health and environmental data were analysed to specify the links between contamination from waste and the increase of some health issues.
It showed statistically relevant correlations between health and waste, confirming the hypothesis that the high rates of mortality and malformation are concentrated in areas contaminated by waste. Some areas are more affected by waste than others. Not only is the population in direct contact with waste and its airborne emissions, contamination has also affected local sources of water and food production, creating health problems as well as economic issues for the farmers of the region Legambiente In their study the Department of Civil Protection created municipal-level synthetic vulnerability indicators Figure 12 , dividing the municipalities of the two provinces into 5 groups of risk.
If we compare the maps below in which increased colour intensity corresponds to the strength of indicators with the map of possibly contaminated sites in Campania Figure 9 we can see a clear correlation between the geographical distribution of illegal waste treatment activities, poverty and disease.
High population density means more intense anthropogenic pressure on the environment, and these areas are also particularly affected by a lack of basic education and poverty. These socio-economic conditions reflect weak social economic and environmental policies that have lead to environmental destruction and deteriorating health conditions. Campania is an agricultural region, very productive and highly specialised, and generally based on a model of extensive cultivation.
Fruit and vegetables are mainly produced, but buffalo breeding for mozzarella production is also important. In Campania produced Campania also produces about traditional products and 28 certified products of Protected Designation of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication. In , there were This is a figure that has doubled in the last decade Messina, Land degradation and desertification is increasingly affecting hilly and mountainous areas, coastal dunes, and established traditions of farming.
Levels of organic matter in Campanian soil are alarmingly low, requiring the urgent establishment of a strategic programme for its remediation. The food production system in Italy is very vulnerable because of waste contamination: the presence of dioxins has suppressed cattle rearing and globally the sale of food products has decreased. The waste policies of Campania are seen as creating a Culture of Death that is leading to the disappearance of rural cultural and traditional food production, involving not only important economic externalities but also inflicting a cultural loss.
In response to the growing presence of waste and its externalities, civil society has mobilised in local grassroots committees and associations. While committees and associations worked in isolation initially, in more recent years efforts have become more co-operative and network- based.
The Campania 0 Waste Movement, composed of two main networks, the Health and Environment Campania Network Rete Campania Salute Ambiente and the Regional Campania Waste Coordination Coordinamento Regionale Rifiuti della Campania is now struggling for a new, and drastically different Waste Management Plan, one that is participatory, agreed by consensus, controlled by communities concerned with public health, and opposes incinerators and mega-landfills.
These networks meet in assemblies and have scientific committees and thematic groups addressing issues and formulating alternative proposals for waste management. They also coordinate activities such as international, national and regional meetings and conferences, marches, and other events to raise public awareness.
In the last 15 years, many protests and clashes with authorities have taken place. Below follows a brief overview of some of the key events occurring in Campania surrounding the management of waste management facilities and decision-making processes. At the beginning of , the Campania Region commissioned the Sebiorec Study, to be carried out by the Superior Institute for Health, the Clinical Physical Institute of the National Research Council, the Epidemiological Observatory, the Naples Tumours Register, and 5 Campania local health offices which saw the analysis of blood persons and maternal milk 50 women samples for presence of dioxin and heavy metals.
Samples were taken from 13 municipalities with various grades of environmental risk in the provinces of Naples and Caserta. In most countries dioxin contamination is linked to industry, but in Campania it is mainly linked to the incineration of waste, legal and illegal. Human exposure to dioxins occurs through inhalation, skin absorption and food consumption, especially meat and dairy products. Airborne transport of dioxins and deposits in soil contaminate grass and plants that are ingested by livestock.
Through the consumption of contaminated meat or other animal products, humans absorb dioxins through the gastrointestinal tract, which are diffused through the body, accumulating particularly in the liver and in body fat. Dioxin contamination in Campania affects especially rural areas where a significant amount of food is produced, not only for local but also for national and international consumption.
Local committees evolved in opposition to the construction of the incinerator and in favour of more sustainable waste management, aiming to preserve an area already heavily impacted by waste and industrialisation. On the 29th of August a popular protest against the project was met with violent repression by both the police and army, profoundly affecting the local and regional movements and creating an atmosphere of fear among the local population.
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It was also a key event in uniting local committees and organisations at a regional level. After years of struggle, the thermovalorizor was inaugurated on March 26th and authorised to burn any type or quality of waste, whether it adhered to norms or not, from ecoballs to unpacked waste. The Pisani landfill in Pianura in the province of Naples was in use for over 50 years and closed in due to its saturation, suspected violation of norms, and the dangers it posed to the environment and human health.
The sanitation of the area was planned, but never implemented. In reaction to the re-opening, the local population mobilised only to be violently repressed by police. Local committees, associations and activists involved magistrates however, and the landfill was sequestered on the 21st of January Enquiries into health issues and groundwater contamination led to the closure of the site as the impacts on illnesses were investigated. It was a law brought in during the Second Punic War tha Certo: Chirichella, Brignone, Wierer, Vittozzi, Panziera, Navarria, e l'elenco potrebbe, anzi dovrebbe continuare a lungo.
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