Thursday, March 17, 2011


I am a great aficionado of the detective novels of Donna Leon. They are set in Venice, revolve around the Commissario Brunetti and the last one I read was ‘About Face’.

I will quote from the sleeve notes: “Brunetti is visited by Carabinieri Maggior Filippo Guarino from the nearby city of Marghera. As part of a wider investigation into Mafia takeovers of businesses in the region, Guarino wants information about the owner of a trucking company who was found murdered in his office. He believes the man’s death is connected to the illegal transportation of refuse – and more sinister material – in his company’s trucks.”

Indeed he is. I won’t give any more of the story away in case you wish to read it but the origin of this waste is Naples.

So this week I was rather taken aback when I read the Andalucía environment ministry has rejected a formal request presented by two Italian companies to transfer 30,000 tonnes of rubbish from the city of - Naples - to the waste dump in Jerez de la Frontera in Cádiz province.

The minister for the environment, José Juan Díaz Trillo, confirmed on February 18 that his department had received the formal request from the two companies. The ministry had been assured the waste contained no dangerous materials.

However the ministry rejected the request and on Saturday Trillo stated: “The Andalucía government from the start has made it clear and has taken a firm position that it would not allow this type of rubbish in the community.”

EU law prohibits the treatment of dangerous waste or that with special characteristics outside of the country of its origin. In this instance the waste is said not to be hazardous but Trillo believes it is for the Italians to handle their own waste and not Jerez or Andalucía.

I am sure the waste is what the Italians say it was – but you can’t help wondering. Perhaps another case for Commissario Brunetti!

(Photo: rubbish on a street in Naples)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seems very odd that any EU country would want to export its waste. There must be something in the containers they don't want to be dumped at home.