Rome mayor warns of new trash crisis

Mayor says 1,500 tons of trash left uncollected on streets of Rome.

Rome is experiencing an "unacceptable" drop in waste collection in recent days, according to the mayor Virginia Raggi.

The mayor blamed private waste facilities for not keeping to a deal, agreed with the Lazio Region and brokered by enviornment minister Sergio Costa, requiring them to process rubbish from the capital.

The "various reasons" why these waste treatment plants are not taking Rome's rubbish include lack of storage space as well as a refusal from the Rida Ambiente facility to accept undifferentiated waste for the last three weeks.

The mayor says the current situation heaps pressure on the capital's sole waste processing plant, Rocca Cencia, whose conveyer belt broke down this week due to being overloaded.

Rome's rubbish collection service AMA Roma says that it is now unable to collect 500 tons of trash off the city's streets this week, added to the 1,000 tons of garbage it was unable to pick up last week.

Raggi says she has instructed AMA to prioritise waste collection in areas near the capital's hospitals, health clinics, schools and kindergartens.

Photo Corriere della Sera