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Italian police find massive illegal waste dump near Naples

by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) Nov 12, 2008
Italian police uncovered Wednesday one million cubic metres (35.3 million cubic feet) of illegal waste dumped in a disused quarry near a hospital in the southern city of Naples.

"This is a very big and ongoing operation which began this morning," police spokesman Salvatore Vaporieri told AFP.

"The waste we have found, which is mainly industrial waste, is considered dangerous," he added.

Tens of thousands of tonnes of untreated waste piled up in Naples and the surrounding areas ahead of April's general election. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi made tackling the crisis a central issue in his election campaign.

The long-running problem was blamed on a lack of local incinerators and mafia influence over landfill sites, some of which were used for illegal dumping of toxic waste.

Police seized mafia-controlled landfill sites around Naples in mid-July and charged 17 suspects as Berlusconi travelled to the city to declare the waste crisis over.

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