Calabria waste system near collapse, says councillor

Running on monthly deficit of three million euros

Calabria waste system near collapse, says councillor

Catanzaro, April 26 - The southern Italian region of Calabria's waste disposal system is in dire straits, the region's environmental policy councillor told journalists on Friday. ''In Calabria the waste disposal system is on the point of collapse, as regards the functioning of facilities, the infrastructure and financial situation,'' said Councillor Francesco Pugliano, just weeks after waste management returned to regional government control after being run for years by a special emergency waste commissioner's office. ''A few days ago we inherited responsibility for the sector after 16 years of extraordinary power and significant financial resources entrusted to the commissioner. Today, however, we find ourselves without one or the other. We must, therefore, present a clear picture of the situation''. Pugliano said Calabria needed more time to encourage waste recycling and to lower rubbish production, in order to restore ''balance'' in both the waste-plant system and costs compared to revenues to pay for the services. ''We're in trouble,'' Pugliano said while appealing for the collaboration of municipalities. ''It should be noted that some people are blackmailing the region, as they seem to think it is an inexhaustible well of money,'' Pugliano claimed. ''The first three months of the year revealed a financial deficit of at least three million euros per month. We hope that by the summer there can be a bit more breathing room compared to the current situation''.

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