Rome waste collection service in fresh turmoil

Rome mayor rejects balance sheet presented by waste collection company AMA.

Rome's waste collection service was plunged into fresh turmoil following the surprise resignation of Pinuccia Montanari, the city's environment councillor with responsibility for refuse, on the evening of 8 February.

Montanari quit after she was the only councillor to oppose the city council's rejection of the 2017 budget presented by the municipal rubbish collection company AMA. 

The figures in AMA's balance sheet have long been disputed by Rome mayor Virginia Raggi and Gianni Lemmetti, the powerful councillor in charge of the capital's budget.

There were reportedly heated exchanges during the assembly, with Raggi quoted as saying: "I'm fed up. Citizens are absolutely right. It's time to clean up AMA's budget and especially in the streets. On this I do not accept any compromise."

Speaking to Italian news agency ANSA just after her resignation, Montanari said: "I think it is totally unjustified to reject a budget that throws a company employing over 11,000 Romans into a precarious situation that is a prelude to bankruptcy procedures."

Lemmetti responded to the "completely unfounded alarmism" over the future of AMA, saying that the company "will remain public and moves towards a real recovery."

AMA has been under significant strain since a fire destroyed a major waste processing plant on 11 December.

Photo ANSA