The removal operations of the end-of-life tyres abandoned at the archaeological area of Cales, an ancient Roman colony of the fourth century BC in the town of Calvi Risorta, Caserta, continue incessantly.
This is an operation of particular importance for protecting, in addition to the environment, the cultural heritage and qualities of the Campania region, and underlines how, with the active support of the area’s social forces, synergies between the public and private sectors can respond effectively even in a complex environment such as that of the “Terra dei Fuochi” [English: “Land of Fires”].
The operation is part of the activities made possible by the “Terra dei Fuochi” Protocol between the Ministry of the Environment and Ecopneus, signed by the Commissioner of the Ministry of the Interior for the “Terra dei Fuochi”, Dr. Donato Cafagna, the prefectures of Naples and Caserta, and the municipalities of Naples and Caserta.
A recent update to the protocol has allowed the Fire Department to intervene for operations like this one in Cales, which will begin on July 20 and end after only six days.  The Provincial Command of the Caserta Fire Department is handling the removal of the ELT from the area; they will then be transferred to authorised companies for the subsequent processing steps.  Finally, thanks to the network of Ecopneus partner companies, the ELT will be transformed into recycled rubber for applications in sports, asphalt, soundproofing and street furniture or alternatively sent for energy recovery.


“The Cales operation has a particular symbolic value because it sends a strong message: the rebirth of a piece of our cultural heritage, disfigured by the disrespect of a few people, that we hope can become a source of development and growth for the area”.  These are the words of Giovanni Corbetta, the Director General of Ecopneus, a non-profit company that is one of the leading managers of ELTs in Italy.  “Thanks to the protocol we have already intervened in 17 municipalities in Campania with 152 pick-ups that have allowed us to remove 656 tons of ELTs; an amount equal to over 70,000 car tyres recovered by the Ecopneus chain without any cost to the public and the citizens, preventing any risk to the environment and health of the population in case of fire”.

“Today the Calvi Risorta area is making a return to the limelight, but in a positive and constructive way,” declared Donato Cafagna.  “The protection of the environment and culture go hand in hand with this operation, returning a valuable asset to the citizens.  Today’s result is the fruit of work made possible by the protocol promoted by the Ministry of the Environment, which deployed law enforcement, the prefecture, the municipality, and the Fire Department together with Ecopneus and the citizens in a concrete and positive commitment for the area.  Eliminating the ELTs means removing an environmental hazard, but also valorising a cultural asset of particular value for the entire Agro Caleno area,” concluded Cafagna.

Rosa D’Eliseo, the Provincial Commander of the Fire Department of Caserta, Antonio Salerno of the Archaeological Superintendency of Campania, Giovanni Marrocco, the Mayor of Calvi Risorta, the Commander of the Carabinieri of Capua, and representatives of ARPA Campania and the Local Health Authority of Caserta also spoke at today’s conference.  The contribution of the members of the ArcheoCales Network – which works on taking care of and promoting the archaeological site on a volunteer basis – was also significant.  With their reports and with the involvement of Legambiente they initiated the process that led to the operations of these days.  The Minister of the Environment Gian Luca Galletti, who was not able to attend the conference due to institutional commitments, praised the initiative with a note:

“I intend, however, to express my appreciation for the important results obtained.  Good practices that contribute to the construction of a renewed civic and ethical sensitivity and that – also thanks to the protocol between the Ministry of the Environment and Ecopneus regarding the “Terra dei Fuochi” area – represent an important opportunity for explaining the evolution of the work, relaunching the enthusiasm that this initiative has raised.  We are talking about the realization of concrete actions through the reuse of recycled rubber, a typical example of a good practice that links respect for the environment and economic benefit.  Instead of sending these tyres to landfills, contributing to a further waste of resources, we reuse them, returning them as useful and valuable projects for the area: sports facilities and benches made of recycled rubber to cite just a few.  The tyres abandoned on the street represent, in the collective imagination, the symbol of those illegal dumps that disfigure the landscape, not sparing even archaeological areas of inestimable value such as the one in Cales, and which through the polluting emissions caused by burning risk becoming a serious health hazard.  To all of this we have to say enough, and we are doing just that through the activities presented by you today and the actions that the government is implementing with commitment and determination.  Let’s keep going like this.