To conclude, Naples’ situation is incredibly complex. In short, poor governance in Naples and widespread corruption in Italian society has meant that the Camorra have been able to control the flows of waste into Naples. By applying a UPE lens, this blog showed how single a broken metabolic link can have drastic impacts on the flows of ‘stuff’ like water, air and food. Without a UPE lens, I would likely have missed Naples’ bigger picture, especially when exploring flows like air or ideas like environmental (in)justice. Like many other cities, Naples had only noticed the waste crisis when it became a visible problem, with waste filling the streets. Treating waste may seem like a simple issue; however, as Moore (2009) stated, “waste is political”, which could not be further from Naples’s truth.
So, what should Naples do?
Finding a solution to Naples’ waste crisis is not easy. For any other city, it would not be as complicated as Naples, but due to the monopoly of the Camorra and widespread corruption, devising a solution has proved difficult. Reflecting on the literature, I have read and what I have written thus far, little has been said about recycling. Naples has focused on treating the waste that flows through the city. There are perhaps two sides to solving this problem. Firstly, Naples needs to reduce waste production by increasing recycling discourse amongst Neapolitans, such as composting and reusing before a product is thrown away. The other solution comes in tackling corruption and reinstating government control which is a priority of Naples. Undeniably, corruption has been a critical source of this problem, as environmental laws have been disregarded, allowing toxic waste to fill the streets and forests of Naples. Therefore, Naples must first tackle corruption, subsequently diverting waste from the streets, to somewhere it can be treated appropriately. Reinstating government control is also imperative as more robust policy can ensure that the correct type of waste is disposed of. It was never a good idea to dispose of toxic waste near where people live, so more assertive policy, governance and control could have circumvented this crisis. As I wrap things up, there is one take-home message from this blog that stands out, and that is that “waste is political” Moore (2009).
I hope you enjoyed this series of blogs, and I hope you learnt a thing or two from this insightful blog. It will also be great if you could comment down below questions and general ideas you have about these series of blogs. It would be great to see what you think too! But as they say in Italian, ‘Grazie e arrivederci’.
Moore, S. (2009) ‘The excess of modernity: garbage politics in Oaxaca, Mexico.’ The Professional Geographer, 61:4, 426-