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1,000 demonstrators protest Rome's trash in their dump

50 mayors and EU parliament member among protesters

28 January, 18:25
1,000 demonstrators protest Rome's trash in their dump (ANSA) - Frosinone, January 28 - About 1,000 people demonstrated in front of a southern Italian garbage-disposal facility on Monday to protest the importation of 430 tonnes of rubbish per day from Rome. Despite the winter cold, demonstrators gathered at dawn to the gates of the SAF rubbish plant in Colfelice, located near Frosinone, about one hour south of Rome. A State decree signed by environmental minister Corrado Clini designated the landfill to relieve Rome's rubbish emergency.

Fifty town mayors from the surrounding territory were among the protestors as well as European parliament member Francesco De Angelis and an outgoing regional council person.

Trucks that gather rubbish from the nearby town of Ciociaria were blocked from entering the facility.

Security forces are manning the zone. Rubbish could start piling up in Rome's streets in a crisis reminiscent of the problems Naples has had in recent years if a new dump site is not found, Environment Minister Corrado Clini warned last fall.

Clini presented a decree this month to ward off a rubbish emergency in the capital, which would designate space in regional facilities for waste coming from Rome province.

Meanwhile, Lazio's regional administration is appealing to Italy's highest administrative court, the Council of State, to fight for its rejected garbage-disposal plan.

Lazio's garbage woes thickened when the Lazio Regional Administrative Court threw out the regional administration's 2011-2017 waste management plan, passed in January 2012.

The Italian capital has been on the verge of having trash problems for some time with its huge dump at Malagrotta filled to well beyond capacity and local administrators, environmental groups and residents unable to agree on an alternative.

A commissioner for the rubbish emergency, Prefect Goffredo Sottile, was brought in by the technocrat government of Mario Monti to handle the emergency and locate new space for Rome's trash.

"On January 1, 2013 we risk having rubbish in the streets of Rome," Sottile declared in late October.