Italy’s southern city of Naples will be rid of its piles of garbage by Christmas with the arrival of dump trucks from other regions helping in an intensified clean-up, the mayor’s office vowed Sunday.
Uncollected waste has accumulated in the city for weeks, with residents reporting a rise in the numbers of rats, pigeons and seagulls and experts warning of health risks from the rotting rubbish.
A dozen vehicles from Rome were already in the city helping its own dump trucks, said Paolo Giacomelli, the city official in charge of hygiene.
Around 1,600 tonnes of garbage were collected on Saturday and, taking into account new waste produced daily, the amount to still be removed had dropped to 2,680 tonnes from 2,910 tonnes a day earlier, Giacomelli said.
The municipality expected the city centre would be “decent” by next Sunday with an extraordinary clean-up starting Monday to first target tourist areas like the central station, he said.
Naples expected the arrival of 30 extra garbage trucks in total from Rome and other cities including Milan and Florence to help out, he said.
Twenty waste-sorting depots had also been set up, an important dump reopened and the city would send some of its organic waste to other regions, the official said.
The European Commission warned Italy last week that it risked big fines if it fails to implement a the waste management plan.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi vowed Friday that Naples’ garbage problem would be sorted out in 15 days.