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. Naples 'submerged' under rubbish despite Berlusconi visit: paper

A lack of local incinerators means garbage is sent to landfill sites, many believed to be controlled by the local mafia in a lucrative black-market trade which sees toxic waste from the north of the country illegally dumped.
by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) June 11, 2008
Naples was struggling under 2,200 tonnes of rubbish Wednesday, as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi made his weekly visit to the crisis-stricken southern Italian city, newspapers reported.

The daily Il Mattino described Naples as being "submerged under rubbish bags", and being "once again in an emergency situation."

Berlusconi made a campaign promise to visit Naples each week until the problem with its garbage disposal which has been brewing for more than a decade was sorted out.

But a tally by Il Mattino found more than 2,000 tonnes of undisposed waste had accumulated in the city centre, with more in the suburbs and greater Naples region.

That problem is being exacerbated by high June temperatures. Exasperated residents have set fire to some of the mountains of rotting waste, causing the Naples fire brigade to be called out on nearly 60 occasions in a 24-hour period.

Speaking at a press conference before returning to Rome ahead of a meeting with US President George W. Bush, Berlusconi said the crisis could only be described as "madness which will never again" descend on the city.

"But we have no choice other than to open new processing sites and to build new incinerators. There is no other option," he added.

A lack of local incinerators means garbage is sent to landfill sites, many believed to be controlled by the local mafia in a lucrative black-market trade which sees toxic waste from the north of the country illegally dumped.

Most landfill sites are now full and refusing futher deposits, whilst a series of train freight shipments to Germany, which had agreed to process some of Naples' waste, has slowed after the discovery of radioactive waste.

Further tests are being carried out at a site in Chiaiano, designated by the government as a possible future landfill location for around 700,000 tonnes of waste.

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Pollution kills 10,000 a year in southern China: study
Hong Kong (AFP) June 11, 2008
At least 10,000 deaths every year in Hong Kong, Macau and neighbouring southern China are caused by the area's worsening air pollution, according to a study released Wednesday.

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