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Landfill of Chiaiano, Italy

Waste struggles in Campania are not only against the landfill, but against the entire undemocratic and imposed waste management model

This case form has been translated for your convenience by voluntary translators. Therefore, they may contain errors. Any discrepancies or differences created in translating this content from the original version into another language are not binding and have no legal effect. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of the information contained in these translations, please refer to the original version of the case in: Italian


In 2007, another severe urban waste management crisis occurred in Campania. Due to the managerial incapability of the Commissioner to the Emergency (operational since 1994) and of FIBE - Impregilo (the private firm to which the contract for the management was granted), the landfills available in the region were gradually saturated and waste was once again piling up in the streets of Napoli and elsewhere in the region, causing health risks and protests. The government of Prime minister Prodi appointed a new Commissioner and identified new areas to use as landfills, including a disused tuff quarry in the Neapolitan district of Chiaiano, bordering the town of Marano. On May 28th 2008, the newly-installed Berlusconi government held its first Council of Ministers in Naples and it approved a decree (the no. 90 of May 23rd 2008, converted into Law no. 123 of July 14th 2008). The decree confirmed the choice of Chiaiano, identified other ten sites for opening new landfills (declaring them areas of national strategic interest of military competence), introduced tougher penalties for those who opposed to the management plans of the government and attributed to a special attorney the exclusive jurisdiction for the purpose of environmental crimes committed throughout the territory of Campania.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Landfill of Chiaiano, Italy
State or province: Campania Region
Location of conflict:Locality of “Cava del Poligono - Cupa del cane”, District of Chiaiano, Municipality of Naples
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Interbasin water transfers/transboundary water conflicts
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Land
Domestic municipal waste
Chemical products
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The decision to open a landfill in the quarry of the Poligono della Selva of Chiaiano was formalized in Decree n. 90 of May 23rd 2008, converted into Law no. 123 of July 14th 2008. This decree by the Berlusconi government placed the Commissioner to the Emergency in close cooperation with the Prime Minister and entrusted the role of the Chief Commissioner to the Civil Protection Head office Guido Bertolaso. The decree authorized, in addition to the transfer of municipal waste, hazardous waste materials marked with codes CER 19:01:11 (ash and slag containing dangerous substances), 19:01:13 (fly ash and slag containing dangerous substances), 19:02:05 (sludge from chemical and physical treatments containing dangerous substances), 19:12:11 (other wastes containing dangerous substances). The framework of the emergency had also enabled to design and build the landfill outside of environmental impact assessments, and landscape and hydrogeological safety standards.

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Project area:9,6 ha
Level of Investment for the conflictive project32,813,500 USD
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:250.000 inhabitants of the district of Chiaiano and surrounding areas
Start of the conflict:01/04/2008
Company names or state enterprises:FIBE from Italy - quarry owner
IBI spa from Italy - constructor and manager of the landfill
Edilcar from Italy - constructor subcontracted
Relevant government actors:- Commissioner to the Emergency
- Presidency of the Council of Ministers
- Head of Civil Protection
- Local administrations of Chiaiano, Marano and Mugnano
- Judiciary
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Permanent garrison against the landfill of Chiaiano and Marano (; Community center Insurgencia ( ; Assizes of Naples and of South Italy ( ;Network Campania, Health and Environment( ; Committee Alarm Toxic Waste ( ; Committee NO Landfills of North Naples Municipalities (
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Oil spills
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Genetic contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Land demarcation
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Proposal and development of alternatives:Since the beginning of the mobilization, citizens’ committees of Chiaiano, Marano and Mugnano, have specified that their struggle was not only against the landfill bound to arise in the quarries of Parco delle Colline, but against the entire waste management model focused on landfills and incinerators, and imposed from above in an authoritarian manner.
The alternatives proposed by local committees are in line with European legislation on waste, formally transposed into Italian regulation. The committees have proposed measures that would reduce waste production (principally by reducing it upstream). In addition, proposals have been drawn up for an integrated waste cycle that is based on a sorted waste collection door-to-door, on the composting of the organic fraction and on the use of alternative technologies to incineration for the remaining part (as the Mechanical biological Treatment, the molecular dissociator and the system THOR).
The committees have embraced (as indeed all the environmental movements of the region) the Zero Waste strategy as a guide for the correct approach to the problem of waste. This approach involves, in addition to reducing, reusing and recycling, the involvement of the industrial sector for the prevention of waste, the eco-design of products and the extended producer responsibility.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The massive use of police by the government imposed the opening of the landfill. However, the reasons of the committees have been confirmed by investigations of the judiciary, and the landfill was closed. The mobilization has also affected the level of organization and social cooperation that today is reflected both in other struggles for health and environment, and in a variety of local initiatives aimed to improve the livability of places.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Report of the Parliament on the implementation of the law 123 of July 14th,2008 (

Text of Decree Law n. 90 of May 23rd 2008, converted into law n. 123 of July 14th 2008, “Extraordinary measures to deal with the emergency in the waste sector in the Campania region and further provisions of civil protection” (

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Synthesis of the final project of the landfill of Chiaiano, by the Civil Protection, 2008
[click to view]

Epidemiological surveillance on health status of the population living around the waste treatment plants, study of the project SESPIR by the Ministry of Health and the National Center for the Control and Prevention of Diseases, 2010
[click to view]

Antonello Petrillo, edited by, Biopolitica di un rifiuto. Le rivolte anti-discarica a Napoli e in Campania, Verona, Ombre Corte, 2009

Preliminary project for the restoration of environmental disused quarry in Chiaiano in the municipality of Naples, by the Special Commissioner, 2011
[click to view]

Chiaiano, from cherry to arsenic (detailed map of the landfill area)
[click to view]

Map of the quarries of Chiaiano
[click to view]

From Chiaiano – Environmental resistance and protection instruments of territories and communities
[click to view]

Dossier of documents edited by the website ChiaiaNOdiscarica
[click to view]

Special article on Chiaiano edited by the Assizes of Naples and South Italy
[click to view]

Chiaiano, another truth – article of Maurizio Braucci in “Nazione Indiana”
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Collection of video edited by ChiaiaNOdiscarica
[click to view]

Una cosa importante da dire, Raffaele Manco, 2008

Collection of photographic materials edited by ChiaiaNOdiscarica
[click to view]

Una Montagna di Balle, Nicola Angrisano, product by Insu^tv, 77’, 2009

Meta information
Contributor:Salvatore Paolo De Rosa - [email protected] (ENTITLE)
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1807
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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