Matteoli sparks Italian waste policy row

Green groups criticise minister's call for more incineration to combat rising waste volumes

Italian environmentalists have criticised environment minister, Altero Matteoli, after he stated that incineration was "the only solution" to increasing waste volumes. Reported in environmental news service e-gazette, Mr Matteoli's comments followed the last week's publication of new waste statistics by the national observatory on waste.

Introducing the new figures, observatory chairman, Gianni Squitieri said that municipal waste arisings were forecast to climb by 3% in 2001, to reach 30m tonnes. Each Italian citizen will produce an average of 520 kg of waste this year, Mr Squitieri said. Recycling rates are rising, but still averaging a pitiful 5% in southern Italy, compared with 25% in the north.

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