Rome wants to send its rubbish to Austria

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Rome wants to send 70,000 tonnes of household waste to Austria. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
09:21 CEST+02:00
Austria has received a request from Rome authorities to help them deal with the Italian capital’s ongoing rubbish crisis by taking some of it off their hands.

Austria has already been taking rubbish from Sicily and Naples for years and now might soon see the so-called ‘Rubbish Trains’ arriving from Rome as well.

A spokesperson for the agricultural and environment minister Andrä Rupprechter told Tiroler Tageszeitung that they received the request from Rome last week.

“It concerns 70,000 tonnes of municipal waste - so house rubbish - coming to thermal recycling plants in Austria. We will now technically and legally examine this request,” spokesperson Magdalena Rauscher-Weber said.

In total, 200,000 tonnes of rubbish are already transported into Austria from abroad every year, 160,000 tonnes of which come from Italy.

Austrian authorities say they will have to consider whether they have the capacity to take on the extra rubbish from Rome. If they do green light the plans, the rubbish will be brought to Austria by trains through northern Italy and Tyrol.

There are also plans to transport an additional 50,000 tonnes of rubbish from Italy to Germany via Austria.

Rome's streets are often filled with rubbish, which even piles up around some of the city's most iconic monuments, a problem which has been aggravated by recent garbage workers' strikes.

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Rome’s new mayor Virginia Raggi made cleaning up Rome one of her campaign promises, along with reducing the city's staggering debts. Her strategy includes plans for better garbage collection and recycling and a crackdown on fly-tipping and littering.

She even recently announced they might enlist the help of the city's prison inmates to clear some of the rubbish.


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