Rome needs new trash dump says Lazio Region

Rome mayor and Lazio governor get political over city's rubbish crisis.

The mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi and the governor of the Lazio Region Nicola Zingaretti are at loggerheads over the disposal of the capital's rubbish, following the approval of waste guidelines by Lazio's regional council on 31 January.

The 2019-2025 Waste Plan concludes that Rome will need to be autonomous in relation to waste disposal plants and will need a new rubbish dump, to be located on city land. No specific site was identified.

The plan, described as "the most appropriate solution" by Zingaretti, of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD), provoked a harsh response from Raggi, of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle.

Highlighting the "alarming news", the mayor said: "the same PD that in 2013 celebrated the closure of Malagrotta [Rome's vast former dump] today calls for the reopening of a landfill site." Raggi described the suggestion as "very serious" and underlined the role of city hall in "defending" Rome.

Zingaretti wasted little time in firing back: "Enough of this psychological terrorism, Malagrotta was closed by me and there will be no more [of its kind], either in size or type of waste, because the law prohibits it." Zingaretti added: "If the capital were to begin an effective policy of differentiation and modern and innovative [waste] management, the new site could be avoided."

Rome's rubbish collection service, provided by troubled municipal company AMA, has been under significant strain since a major waste processing plant burnt down on 11 December.

The fire resulted in the city receiving assistance from regional authorities in Lazio and Abruzzo as it scrambled to deal with an extra 800 tons of trash per day.