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Waste management, the debate is once again on fire

Do Italians love talking about waste management and residues? This should not be the case, and yet the subject is being more discussed than ever.

From the “Triangle of death” to the overflowing waste bins of Naples in 2008 and Rome in 2017; from controversy on treatment plants; authorized or abusive landfills; toxic clouds; and accidental or unwanted fires; the debate outlines an SOS signal of alert or discomfort, lining the political clash.

Italy’s online discussion on waste management is fueled by posts and statements where local and non-local politicians, organizations and citizens, denounce limitations or come up with solutions. Especially on Facebook, there are several negative opinions and much to be talked about on this subject, with more than three contributions out of four being negative, out of a total of 180,000 posts and 890,000 interactions of 435,000 users, between December 2016 and May 2017. Usually, it’s news, launched by news portals or bloggers, that trigger word-of-mouth, and discussions on Facebook.

Among the first 100 influencers, we find news and debate sources: media and journalists, mayors and political representatives who use social media to spread updates or complaints or to promote programs and defend their actions that’s especially the case for regional governors, mayors or local councilors. Less often, however, we find the voices of activists, leaders and environmental representatives.

[June 2017]

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