Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 14:24 UK

German city lifts Italy waste ban

Containers of rubbish from Naples at a waste plant in Hamburg on 23 May, 2008
Germany has received container-loads of waste from Naples in Italy

The German city of Hamburg has lifted a ban it imposed on processing Italian hospital waste that was found to contain high levels of radioactivity.

The city said it had reassurances that the waste would be thoroughly checked.

A Hamburg spokesman said the level of radioactivity had been 80 times higher than normal and a costly treatment would be needed to make it safe.

The waste in question came from the Italian region of Campania, which includes the city of Naples.

Waste problems there have been blamed on illegal dumping by the local mafia.

Hamburg had said it would not accept any more waste from Campania until it received written guarantees from the Italian authorities that all rubbish would be checked thoroughly to ensure it was safe before being transported to Germany.

The transfer is now expected to return to normal.

The BBC's Mark Duff in Milan says Campania does not have enough dumps to process its own rubbish and the local mafia, the Camorra, makes a lot of money from illegal dumping.

Exporting waste to Germany, he says, seems one of the few fail-safe ways of dealing with the still unresolved crisis of refuse on the streets of Naples.


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