Tag Archives: unsanitary

Stench figurative and literal: Naples’ garbage crisis deepens

Back in January, I made three separate posts about the mountains of garbage accumulating in the streets of Naples, Italy: “Naples Stinks,” “Followup: Sardinians Resent Naples’ Garbage,” and “Followup: Naples’ Garbage Crisis Laid Bare.” Now, here’s the latest–

(There are two kinds of human filth, here. One is obvious and may be cleaned up with garbage trucks and street cleaners. The other kind is harder to see and is notoriously hard to clean up.)

Camorra cause a stink in Naples

[via telegraph.co.uk]

The Mob has proved no better than Italy’s inept municipal authorities at running waste disposal business properly.

(Excerpt)

..the Mob has proved no better than Italy’s inept municipal authorities at running the service properly. Barely any new waste processing facilities have been built in Naples for decades, and since last December, the region’s dumps have been full to capacity and unable to take any more. Hence the refuse piles 20 feet high in Naples’ once-picturesque alleyways, and hence what Neapolitans call La Puzza, or The Stink.

With it has come another unpleasant smell – less easily detectable but just as familiar in Italian public life. It is the whiff of corruption, and the sneaking feeling that the situation got so out of hand because of murky links between the Comorra and the city’s administration, stymying modern refuse projects that might threaten their waste rackets.

“The fish starts to stink from the head, so we should blame the political class,” said Quarto Gennaro, 51, nursing an espresso in a cafe in Forcella, an old-time Camorra district packed with loafing, jowelly men resembling Sopranos extras. “They always act together with the criminals….”

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Hell Smell Incarnate: Florida Cat-People had 196 cats

Crazy Cat LadyCats gone, stench lingers

Neighbors still hide from the smell left by nearly 200 cats taken from a Tarpon Springs home.

[Excerpts]

TARPON SPRINGS – Even from across the street, you can smell the sour odor wafting from 759 Seminole Blvd.

Neighbors say the stench has driven them from their yards and forced them to abandon their swimming pools….

…On Dec. 5, Tarpon Springs police received an anonymous call asking that someone “check on the welfare” of the residents at 759 Seminole Blvd. Though no one answered the door when an officer turned up at the house, he detected an odor and recommended a followup.

The next day, Animal Services responded and asked the city for help, Templeton said.

What they found was disturbing.

Amid the clutter, cats roamed everywhere. A 6- to 8-inch layer of cat feces covered nearly the entire house, said Laura Spaulding of Spaulding Decon, the Lutz company that put together an estimate for cleaning the house.

“It’s intense,” said Spaulding, a veteran of crime-scene and pack rat cleanup. “It’s the worst we’ve ever seen….”

(Read the entire article)

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In Days of Olde…

…the shit ran freely in the streets.

Gardy Loo!

An excerpt from Christine A. Powell’s excellent online essay, “A Matter of Convenience”

In Renaissance Scotland, the housewives threw their chamberpot contents and slops out the windows with the cry “Gardy Loo!” (This evidently derived from the French “Gardez l’eau,” meaning “Look out for the water!”) Unfortunately, the sound of the cry and the discarded material often arrived simultaneously. Woe to the one who looked up to see what was happening. It is believed that this may be the origin of the British term “loo” for a toilet (Pudney, 28-9). The high-rises of Edinburgh were hardly the only places in Europe to present a sanitation problem during this era.

Indeed, the period from 1550 to 1750 has been called the “two rather insanitary centuries.” When the court of Charles II spent the summer of 1665 in Oxford, the local diarist Anthony Wood observed they were “nasty and beastly, leaving at their departure their excrements in every corner, in chimneys, studies, coalhouses, [and] cellars.” Contemporary accounts and engravings frequently illustrate the morning ritual in English and Scottish cities of emptying one’s ordure out of upper-floor windows into the streets beneath (Wright, 75-8). It was not until the mid-1800s, when Dr. John Snow proved the connection between cholera and sewage-polluted drinking water, that cities began to control their waste (Colman, 46). There is no reason to suppose that Port Royal and other contemporary cities in the colonies were any cleaner than those in Europe during the “insanitary centuries.” (source)

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