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US News'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish

17:51  26 june  2019
17:51  26 june  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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Brussels is keeping close eye on waste disposal row that has become political issue in run -up to Italy’s March general election.

'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish © Associated Press Uncollected rubbish in Rome, where residents are growing increasingly angry If you get peeved at your local council not collecting your bins regularly enough, you should try living in Rome.

In the midst of a summer heatwave the bins of the Eternal City are overflowing and doctors have warned that there is now a serious health risk.

It's not a new problem - the Italian capital was left with no major site to treat the 1.7 million metric tons it produces every year when the Malagrotta landfill was closed in 2013.

'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish © Associated Press The city has had no major facility for waste disposal since 2013

But the issue has re-emerged dramatically since Virginia Raggi and the populist 5-Star Movement took charge three years ago.

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Rome is in danger of becoming a dump. I don’t mean the rubbish heap of history, which is how the Escalators in the metro remained out of service for weeks after an October accident nearly Whatever the cause, Rome ’s charming world weariness has given way to a cynicism of epidemic proportions.

"We've become the third, fourth world in my opinion," said Rome resident Rossana Franza. "Mrs Raggi should take a small stroll here once in a while. Because in her neighbourhood, which I have been to, it is all in order."

'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish © Associated Press Just about the only thing officials can agree on is that a long-term solution is required

Another resident, who gave her name as Alessia, saw a rat scurry past her the other day. She cannot go outside in the evenings because "there's an incredible stink".

The health risk is twofold.

There's the dogs, cats, rats and birds rooting around in the rubbish, spreading bacterial infections through their waste or urine.

Related: Countries that recycle the most (Photos)

'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish
'We've become third world' – Rome runs out of space for its rubbish

"The main risk for us comes when we take out and throw the trash away," said Roberto Volpe from the National Research Council.

"There's a risk of taking the contamination back home with us. That's why it's important to wash our hands properly afterwards."

The other hazard comes from Romans taking the matter into their own hands.

Related: These people made a fortune from rubbish (Lovemoney)

Dr Volpe discouraged angry citizens from setting rubbish piles on fire, warning that dioxin contamination can cause cancer.

Just about the only thing officials can agree on is that a long-term solution is required.

"Let's be honest... no waste plan can solve a problem aggravated by 60 years of mismanagement in one year," said Marco Cacciatore, president of the local commission for environmental and city politics in Rome.

"Let's tell the truth to citizens: we are human. This difficult infrastructural situation cannot be resolved in the short term."

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