On our way down to Positano after our visit to the Pompeii ruins we noticed huge piles of trash throughout Naples. We were both a little disgusted and curious as to why this was happening.
Apparently the Waste Management workers in Naples have been on strike off and on since 2008 and this strike has been carried out to present day.
Here is some information I found on the web about the trash collection problem in Naples.
Since the mid-1990s, Naples and the Campania region has suffered from the dumping of municipal solid waste into overfilled landfills. Beginning on December 21, 2007, the municipal workers refused to pick up any further material; as a result, the waste had begun to appear as regular fixtures on the streets of Naples, posing severe health risks to the metropolitan population. On December 31, the government closed one of two major dumps near the city at the request of the city's residents.Reports during the summer of 2008 stated that the problem was caused at least in part by the Camorra, a powerful local mafia based in Campania, who had created a lucrative business in the municipal waste disposal business. Heavy metals, industrial waste and chemicals and household waste are frequently mixed together, dumped near roads and burnt to avoid detection, leading to severe soil and air pollution.
In January 2008 Romano Prodi’s government announced plans for the solution of the crisis including the building of three new incinerators. Prodi appointed a former national police chief as waste commissioner and the army was called in to bulldoze the waste from the streets of Caserta while protesters clashed with police in central Naples. But no real progress had been made by May of that year, when Prodi's government was defeated in the general election. At that time over 200000 tonnes of waste still remained on the streets.
Newsweek reported that in October 2010, riots near Terzigno halted garbage collection again in Naples, leading to "overflowing bins and renewed international attention", and "new calls for [Berlusconi's] resignation and allegations that his government is in bed with the mob". The riots occurred after the government announced another 3-million-metric-ton landfill would be constructed within Vesuvius National Park; residents, already upset by toxic waste levels at a nearby landfill, were said to believe that much of the garbage going into the new landfill would be "illegally imported by the Camorra" and would be similarly uncontrolled.