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Buried to kill

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Trucks

The trucks glided tireless on the highways: they were so similar to the other trucks, they were so anonymous with their long cargo beds; the cockpits were hot as fire in summer, cold as ice in winter time.

The truckers were as other truckers, numb for the endless travel, wich started from the deep North (and it didn’t matter it was Germany or North Italy, it was always the same cold and different North), and then ended in the moisty warm of South Italy.

That North places looked so clean and tidy, the truckers were dreaming about sending their children, so they could study, go to university, become influential.

Only a few of this tireless workers understood what they were carryng with them. And if someone understood it, he respected the good old adage “make your own business, and you’ll hack it 100 years”. The rest drove the truck and in the meanwhile they were thinking about a new house, a trip with the family, a cozy summer weekend on the beach, taking a sunbath; in the meanwhile the cargo bed behind them was full of toxic wastes. These deadly loads ended their journey in old mines, in small rivers, under roads, houses, towns.

An happy house

From waste trade they become millionaire. Who, you would ask, the truckers? No, they didn’t.

You would say then the criminals, “mafiosi”? Yes, sure, but not only them.

The entrepreneurs who decided to save money on disposal, hold their nose and send down in the South, what should be controlled and safetly disposed.

Remember, they were aware of their own actions.

Their children grew, they put some weight on, now maybe they’re already streaked with grey. Maybe they continue to repeat the same mistakes of the fathers. Maybe, but i hope not.

Hundreds of italian and european companies relied on unscrupulous mediators, and let the loads leave for half or even less the price for legal disposal.

Here it is, the ancient sin. Greed and avidity, something that modern economy cannot stop.

From their point of view, they “cool” and “successful” businessmen, there was a huge gain. In their world (our world?) made of companies that need to balance the figures, it was a prosaic paradise.

Why do they shouldn’t try this way?

The waste got lost in the night and in the fog, while their wallets swelled.

Workers praised their own booming companies, everybody looked so happy at that time.

What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve.

From jail

This is what the informer from “Camorra” mafia, Nunzio Perella, says:

“In the Brescia province they are wrecked, we fill them of toxic waste.

Isola neighborhood in Naples is completely full. So is the great ring road (GRA) around Rome”.

And Lombardia too: ” Oh, North is really wrecked. We bring waste only in Lombardia, till the 1987.”

Then there’s Puglia, Calabria, Sicilia. Lazio. Every part of Italy is involved.

Till 1987 the camorra mafia buried directly in North Italy. “Then it was completely full, and we started to bring waste in the Southern Italy”.

In Lombardia there are villages floating on toxic waste. Literally, because probably leachate reached underground water.

 

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Waste illegaly buried in the Vicenza province. From www.lonesto.it

Then we can count the ships full of radioactive and toxic waste, sunk in the Tyrrenian Sea (and other seas).

And then tons of radioactive waste in the ground.

Hazardous waste from hospitals.

Asbestos.

I could go on.

Seek and ye shall find

As the spokeperson from the “citizenry and community web” Vincenzo Tosti supports, Italy is unfortunately teeming with illegal landfills.

This problem gained popularity in 2012, when many kids where dying in the Campania region. So the “Campania” case triggered mass media attention. From that date, “sightings” of illegal landfills multiplied.

After decades of silence, someone started to reveal unexpected places, where authorities found deadly surprises. As Perrella and Schiavone (two informers from Camorra mafia) did, breaking the silence around this question.

For decades nobody wanted to search for waste. Nobody wanted to look at that trucks, so similar to the others, so different in their “fillings”, in their destinations.

The little voices against this mess where faint, while the rest of the Nation stood stubborn in its invisble barrier of sloth.

Now we know how many toxic waste are buried in the whole country.

The oncology chronicles

Here it is an edifying tale:

There’s a son and there’s the father, they’re in an hospital.

The kid is a 10 year stick, hollowed from an overwhelming disease, grayed for pain.

Cancer, doctors say;

The father cries, tears broaden among the meshes of the coat.

Why does he have to face this? Why him, a self made man, the boss of industrialists?

What’s killing his beloved child?

What did he do, God, to earn all this pain?

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It’s unsustainable, it’s unacceptable

Thousands of tons of waste were buried in hundreds (maybe thousands) of different sites, scattered in every italian region.

Now the routes for illegal dumping are shifting towards developing countries in Africa, Asia, in the Balcans.

Main routes of illegal waste dumping. From www.thegreenoracle.com

Main routes of illegal e-waste dumping. From www.thegreenmarketoracle.com

We persist in what we’ve done for centuries: we produce, consume and then dispose thousands of objects and matters, often toxic, radioactive or impossible to degradate for the environment.

And we still think that what we produce is “golden”, while at the end of the cycle we obtain only “s**t” good to be buried, so our gentle eyes could not see that mess.

Look from where does this stuff come from, this waste. Ask why do they exist.

They come from cosmetics. From parfums. From cars, comfortable machines that already substituted our legs.

Tell me, why do we have radioactive slugs?

Tell me, where do the leather scraps come from? Or sewages seasoned  with heavy metals , where do they come from?

Tell me why do they’re there? For our brand new jackets, for our sparkling handbags.

Tell me, is this the way we are undertaking?

We’re killing a planet for an handbag.

Giuseppe Scandone 12/03/2017

Bibliography

www.corriere.it-cronache-17 febbraio 2017: mafia, il pentito del clan dei Casalesi: «Abbiamo interrato 9 mila quintali di rifiuti»

www.ilfattoquotidiano.it-23 Maggio 2016: Camorra e rifiuti, il boss Nunzio Perrella torna a collaborare con i pm: “Quelli che ho denunciato sono ancora attivi”

Ecomafia Globale, radiografia dei traffici illeciti di rifiuti:i numeri, le rotte, i Paesi coinvolti e le proposte. Legambiente e Polieco, 2011

Author: Giuseppe Scandone

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