Rome will avert Christmas rubbish crisis says mayor

Lazio Region offers temporary use of waste treatment plants as Rome considers hiking bin charges.

Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi has pledged that the capital will avert a rubbish emergency this Christmas, following the fire that destroyed a major waste processing plant in north-east Rome.

The Lazio Region has stepped in to help by making available its waste treatment facilities in Viterbo, Aprilia and Rocca Cencia, located in the greater Rome area. The offer is available for one month, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, meaning it will get Rome through the Christmas period when trash collection normally spikes in the capital.

Raggi says that a freshly-formed "crisis unit" is considering a "series of solutions in the short and medium term" to deal with an extra 800 tons of trash per day since the TMB Salaria plant went up in flames on 11 December. 

The mayor said that one of the options on the table is an increase in the waste collection tax or tassa rifuiti, known in Rome as Tari. This would likely prove deeply unpopular with Romans, many of whom claim that the municipal waste collection company AMA was already not doing an adequate job of removing rubbish from the city's streets.

A police investigation is currently underway into the cause of the TMB Salaria fire, whose acrid fumes reached the city centre. The video surveillance system at the plant was reportedly not working in the days before the fire, leading to suspicions of arson and sabotage.

Photo Il Messaggero