TAMARA HODAK (EVS): EVERY MEDAL HAS 2 SIDES
While doing EVS under the name „Feeling green“, I focused on exploring and researching natural beauties around Rome. During my research, I found some amazing locations and stories. On the other hand, there are devastating discoveries as well – pollution.
Every capital city struggles when it comes to waste management. In the areas where there is a big number of inhabitants, it is hard to organize waste removal out of the city, recycling or finding a place to dispose of all the waste. Getting the money for all of that can be compared to science fiction. I have traveled a lot and I have seen a lot of capital cities around Europe. I must admit, unfortunately, that Rome is the dirtiest. Garbage can be found absolutely everywhere. The smell is unbearable. It made me think – why is this happening? How is it possible that a city, such powerful and meaningful, can be managed so irresponsibly?
Italy faced the waste disposal crisis many years ago. When the government realized that the situation got out of hand, they reacted. The reaction, up to this day, did not move from putting the blame on someone else.
According to the wired.it:
„ Until 2013, Rome could count on the largest landfill in Europe: Malagrotta, place of the last resting place of Roman rubble for almost 40 years. 240 hectares of Lazio countryside destined for waste, which between malpractice and negligence are accused of having produced immense damage to the environment and human health.“
Recycling policy exists and there are fines inhabitants have to pay in case they disobey the law. However, all the waste ends up mixed at the same place which makes the policy useless or invalid.
In January 2018, The Guardian reported:
„Italy could be sanctioned by the EU unless authorities in Rome and its wider Lazio region get to grips with a waste disposal crisis that has dragged on for weeks, the country’s environment minister has warned.“
I visited Rome in February 2017 for the first time. It has been 2 years since then and all I can say is that the first time I thought to myself that the city is critically dirty. Now, it got even worse. It is impossible to understand that the authorities let this happen. The plan for resolving the problem is being designed for too long and there are still no signs of coming to an end of polluting the environment. It`s a disgrace that the beauty of Rome is being under the shadow of garbage.
Someone even created a Facebook page called „Roma fa schifo“ which means „Rome sucks“. There, you can find photos of pollution, ridiculousness and contradiction from all around the city taken by inhabitants and passengers.
I feel bad for witnessing this situation but I`m hopeful. Talking to Romans, I got a lot of information that the situation has even been worse than now. The progress is made too slow and I hope that authorities will set their focus on a long-term solution regarding waste management because it started negatively affecting the well-being of nature and humans.
* Tamara Hodak – Feeling Green Project