In Rome, the garbage crisis is coming to a head again. In view of acute problems with the disposal of rubbish, the municipality is looking for strategies. Now the waste should be brought to the Netherlands. From the end of May, two trains a week will start from the port city of Civitavecchia north of Rome to bring the garbage to Amsterdam. Here it is to be disposed of in an incinerator, reported the Roman daily newspaper “La Repubblica” (Monday edition).
In this way, 1,800 tons of waste are to be disposed of. This results in costs of 1.5 million euros per week for Rome’s community. The city already has experience with waste disposal outside the Italian borders. In 2017, 70,000 tons of waste were disposed of by rail in the Lower Austrian waste incineration plant in Dürnrohr near Zwentendorf (Tulln district). This was used to generate electricity for 170,000 households in the region and district heating for St. Pölten. Garbage exports from Rome to Austria were stopped at the end of 2017.
Garbage cans overflow in Roman neighborhoods
Rome has had problems with waste disposal for years. Plans to build a waste incineration plant have been discussed for years, but so far none have been implemented. While the historic center, which is popular with tourists, is usually spared mountains of rubbish, bins regularly overflow in many residential areas. To date, according to Mayor Roberto Gualtieri, Rome only processes two percent of its waste on its own territory. That’s a percentage you won’t find in any major Italian city and far from European standards. Much of the garbage is taken from the urban area to other Italian regions.
Rome’s predecessor administration of the five-star politician Virginia Raggi did not get the problem under control. In October 2021 she was voted out. Her successor Gualtieri went ahead with a “special cleaning plan” in the problem areas against waste and equipped the municipal waste disposal company Ama with more staff and vehicles. However, the garbage problem was not solved. The city has to dispose of 1,200 tons of waste in landfills every day.