Rats, cockroaches and other insects have been infiltrating apartment buildings in areas, mostly beyond the centre, where rubbish had piled up on the streets for days before collection.
Rome has long been beset with waste management problems, mostly due to collection inefficiencies and a lack of processing plants.
Anaci, the national association of condominium administrators, said it had received 12,000 requests for rodent extermination between May and September, up from the average 4,000 it usually received during the summer period.
“Sixty percent of condominiums have asked for an intervention, three times the usual amount,” Rossana De Angelis, president of Anaci, told Il Messaggero.
Demand peaked in June and July, when the rubbish crisis was so bad that doctors warned of the danger to health amid soaring temperatures.
The situation slightly improved in August, in part due to many Rome residents being away. But the problems have returned this month, with rubbish going uncollected in the centre and beyond, and they are likely to persist as a three-month contract under which Rome’s waste was sent to disposal plants across the Lazio region will soon expire.
Rome’s mayor, Virginia Raggi, often comes under fire for the city’s bad management – be it waste collection, poor public transport or streets with potholes and protruding cobbles.
Raggi said in mid-September that she had witnessed an “unacceptable” drop in rubbish collection, blaming waste facilities in Lazio for not maintaining the deal struck in July, with one of the reasons being lack of storage space.
Rome only has one waste processing plant, Rocca Cencia, where the conveyor belt broke down earlier this month due to being overloaded. In January, Raggi sacked the entire board of Ama, the waste collection company that has long been blighted by inefficiency and corruption issues.
The extent of the rubbish problem is continuously chronicled on social media, with Rome residents sharing images of overflowing bins and, on some occasions, wild boar rummaging through piles of waste in the outskirts of the city.