Corrado Scapino, vice-president of FISE and president of Barricalla, a waste-disposal company outside of Turin, says illegal competition from traffickers siphons off the business needed to justify investment in modern waste-management facilities.
That's why, in the Ecoverde case, Spoleto prosecutor Manuela Comodi wants to force industrial bosses from northern Italy who used Ecoverde's
services to testify.If she
can prove execs knowingly participated in waste trafficking--a tough hurdle--they can do jail time.Even hauling them in to testify may be a deterrent."It is impossible that companies had no idea their waste was being disposed of under the table.The prices were too low to be credible," says Comodi.
To confuse authorities, criminal gangs pass their cargo off several times or store waste materials temporarily in centers designed for treatment.Middlemen falsify documents and send the cargo on to another way station as "nonhazardous" waste.