The Big Felafel

Take Out the Trash

The trash cans are overflowing and the stench, overwhelming. The streets are littered with remnants of dinner from last week, stacked ten feet high, and there is no waste worker in sight to clean up this mess. While this could very well be the scene of another trash workers’ strike in Israel it’s actually the case for Naples, Italy.

You thought we had it bad when the waste workers go on strike; try living in Naples right now where the trash has piled to over 1,500 tons. This is no strike but rather the results of a dispute over a ten year old trashy problem. About eleven years ago the city closed down a waste dump but now the government wants to reopen it. The citizens are furious and have taken to the streets, protesting and refusing the dump to be resurrected.

The government, and mafia according to most citizens, struck back by stopping all trash pick ups. This has caused other cities to volunteer their waste pick up detail to help out with the literal mess, but so far the government has not given the ok. The Swiss have even offered their waste incineration services claiming that Naples will not be able to take out their own trash properly for at least five years.

As I read about this dumpy situation I couldn’t believe this wasn’t happening in Israel. I mean it seems like some government department is on strike at least once a week, that and nothing ever gets done. But for Naples it is so much worse than a strike, it is an unresolved problem dating a decade back and has no real future solution.

I am left with the dying question, could this happen in Israel? After all with strike after strike it is only a matter of time until our own trash piles up.

And of course I am no longer speaking in terns of trash bags but the piling up of corrupt politicians, incompetent leaders and apathetic citizens. The way I see it the root of Naples’ trash problem is the same as our own. We have let things pile up…stink up…and now where will they end up?


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