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The Malagrotta landfill and speculation in the Galeria Valley, Italy

The largest landfill in Europe shut down thanks to protesters and local residents; enough with unfortunate speculative waste management, it's time to go for "zero waste"


Since 1977, the Galeria Valley in Rome has been the site of a landfill for disposal, treatment and recovery of waste’s facilities managed by the company CO.LA.RI. Environmental damages and health impacts, caused by these and other industrial structures already present in the Malagrotta area, have been leading to severe protests by local residents.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:The Malagrotta landfill and speculation in the Galeria Valley, Italy
State or province:Province of Rome, Lazio Region
Location of conflict:Rome
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:240
Level of Investment:-
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:8,093 (Casal Lumbroso inhabitants)
Start of the conflict:1990
End of the conflict:30/09/2013
Company names or state enterprises:Consorzio Laziale Rifiuti (Co.La.Ri ) from Italy
E. Giovi SRL from Italy - Landfill administrator
AMA S.p.A. (ama) from Italy
Relevant government actors:Roma Capitale; Lazio Region; Ministry of Environment; Presidency of the Council of Ministers
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Malagrotta Committee; Pisana 64; Viviverde Massimina; Rete Regionale Rifiuti Lazio ; “Le Città di Roma” Association; CGIL - Italian General Confederation of Labour; UIL - Italian Labour Union; WWF Lazio (; Legambiente Lazio (; Italia Nostra (
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Social movements
Trade unions
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage)
Health ImpactsVisible: Other Health impacts
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Other Health impacts levels of pollution caused by metals and organic compounds’ widespread contamination (ISPRA)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:Committees are promoting a "zero waste” model, which starts from a door to door waste collection and informing initiatives, thus representing the opposite strategy proposed by CO.LA.RI. (the landfill operator), mainly based on incineration and regeneration (
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The closure of Malagrotta is undoubtedly a positive result, but Rome has a long way to go in order to overcome its daily emergency situation. Every year € 25 million of the city budget are spent to transport a significant portion of the material coming out of the waste treatment in other Italian regions, as a new small landfill where to convey the waste has not yet been identified.
In addition, the "capping" project (the morphological recovery and final coverage of Malagrotta's landfill located in the territory of Roma Capitale) - authorized on the basis of the European Directive of 1999 -, which will absorb more than 800 tons of carbon dioxide per year (the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 500 households), has not yet been approved.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Dipartimento di Epidemiologia del Servizio Sanitario Regionale e Arpa Lazio, Valutazione edipemiologica dello stato di salute della popolazione residente nell’area di Malagrotta, dal sito
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Co.La.Ri, Progetto di discarica per rifiuti urbani in località Monti dell’Ortaccio,
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Ordine del giorno del Municipio Roma XVI contro ordinanze 14 e 16 del 2005, dal sito
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Arpa Lazio, Studio dell’impatto della discarica di Malagrotta (Roma) sulle acque superficiali e sotterranee mediante l’uso di metodologie isotopiche: Risultati preliminari
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Ispra, Indagini finalizzate ad accertare la natura, la composizione e i livelli di inquinamento ambientale nell’atmosfera e nella falda acquifera nell’area industriale di Malagrotta-Valle Galeria (Roma)
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Monnezza blues. La gestione dei rifiuti nel Lazio: emergenzialità, conflitti sociali e nuovi modelli, Stand UP, CDCA, Roma febbraio 2013
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Rete “Zero Waste Lazio”, Relazione illustrativa della proposta di deliberazione di iniziativa popolare all’Assemblea Capitolina di Roma per l’avvio del percorso “verso Rifiuti Zero” con l’introduzione in tutta la città di un programma, tra cui la raccolta differenziata porta a porta spinta dei rifiuti solidi urbani
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Consulta malagrotta
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Comitato Malagrotta
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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Presadiretta video
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Rai Video report
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Meta information
Contributor:Chiara Spizzichino (CDCA) [email protected]
Last update13/03/2015
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