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Naples residents find themselves in a mess

January 05, 2008|From the Associated Press

NAPLES, ITALY — Stinking mounds of garbage piled up Friday on the streets of Naples, as officials blamed organized crime and red tape for the situation.

Effigies of city officials, strung from lampposts and trees, reflected the fury of residents, who have had to live amid small mountains of trash since Dec. 21, when collection stopped because the dumps were full.

Some residents have been setting trash on fire, raising fear of toxic smoke.

Resident Angela Sepe said she just throws garbage out her window because piles are already as high as the second floor.

Some protesters threw stones Friday at a police station in protest of efforts to reopen a long-closed dump, the Italian news media reported. One protester was arrested. Four empty buses were set ablaze, fire officials said.

The Italian daily Corriere della Sera ran an article Friday detailing a parliamentary committee's findings that point to graft and inefficiency in the trash commissioner's office.

Environment Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio blamed what he called the "ecomafia," a reference to Naples' organized crime syndicate, the Camorra, and its hold on trash collection.

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