AMA employees blame poor management

Refuse workers react to Rome's rubbish crisis.

An article in national daily Italian newspaper La Repubblica sheds light on Rome's worsening rubbish problems by interviewing workers cleaning the streets in the city centre.

The employees of AMA, the capital's refuse collection agency, accepted that "Rome is dirty" but told La Repubblica that this was due to years of mismanagement by the company. They also said that there are not enough workers to meet demand and that management continually moves them around to deal with "emergency areas" where heaps of rubbish have accumulated.

The AMA workers are aware that the public has a poor view of them, with many Romans believing that they "spend the whole day at the bar" instead of doing their job. The workers in the centre claim they limit themselves to one short coffee break during their early shift (06.00-14.00) otherwise "anyone can snap a photo of us with their mobile phone and send it the papers."

One employee said that AMA workers could not be blamed for the "decay denounced by foreign newspapers", adding that if it weren't for AMA "who would clean Rome – Gassman?", a reference to the populist clean-up campaign announced by the Roman actor.

They say their job is made worse by "uncivilised tourists and Romans who don't respect differentiated recycling", highlighting their despair at having to deal with old washing machines, mattresses and sofas dumped alongside bins by "people who don't love their own city."