IMG_3811Palermo has a problem with rubbish.  A big problem.  It’s often the first thing visitors to the city talk about: skips full to overflowing with garbage in the streets of the city centre and piles of rubbish building up on the pavement.

It’s not that the problem of rubbish is peculiar to Palermo.  The amount of waste, much of it non-recyclable, being discarded by industrial societies all over the world is increasing at an alarming rate.  Rubbish is a massive problem world-wide.  But you don’t expect to be confronted with it quite so starkly in a modern European city – and there’s no good reason why you should be.

But there are reasons why you are, in Palermo; some of them quite bizarre.  Both the reasons, and the novel solution recently adopted by one of my neighbours, are very Sicilian.

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