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Waste piles cleared from central Naples
by Staff Writers
Naples, Italy (AFP) June 28, 2011

Firefighters extinguish a fire set in waste containers and rubbish left in the street overnight on June 24, 2011 in Naples. Firefighters in garbage-strewn Naples tackled dozens of blazing mounds of rubbish on Friday that had been set alight overnight by exasperated residents. Photo courtesy AFP.

The garbage that has been piling up in the centre of Naples was being cleared on Tuesday, as the city's new mayor vowed to take on the power of organised crime in the waste disposal business.

Luigi De Magistris, who came to power last month defeating a candidate from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, also said he wanted the city to be recycling 70 percent of its waste by the end of this year.

The local waste collection company Asia said there were still an estimated 1,430 tons in the streets on Tuesday compared to levels of up to 3,000 tons in recent days -- although piles remain on the outskirts of the city.

De Magistris accused the Camorra crime syndicate of orchestrating acts of vandalism including setting fire to garbage piles and blocking garbage trucks in order to stop him from putting in place an ambitious recycling plan.

"It is clear that there are powerful and criminal interests that are trying to put a spanner in the works but we are stronger," De Magistris was quoted as saying on Tuesday as he inaugurated a new recycling area in the city.

In an interview with Radio 24, the mayor said: "Naples is on the way to achieving door-to-door collection across the city" of recycling waste.

There would also be a timetable for collection of different types of waste.

"Everyone wants to contribute. Even the prisoners at (the local prison of) Poggioreale are doing recycling," he added.

"This is a tough and difficult battle but people are sensitive on this issue," de Magistris said, calling for help from regional authorities.

With landfills in the Naples area overflowing, other regions have proposed taking the city's garbage but the Northern League party, a key coalition partner, is blocking a government decree that would allow these transfers.

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Residents set fire to garbage in Naples protests
Rome (AFP) June 24, 2011
Firefighters in garbage-strewn Naples tackled dozens of blazing mounds of rubbish on Friday that had been set alight overnight by exasperated residents, officials said. The waste crisis in the southern Italian city has escalated in recent days with the build-up of more than 2,300 tons of malodorous rubbish in the streets and armed guards brought in to escort garbage trucks as tensions rise. ... read more

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