Angry Romans have now resorted to sealing smelly dumpsters near their homes with tape, partly to minimise the odour and keep out rats, and partly in protest, Italian media reports.
Residents complained on social media that some of the bins have not been emptied for as long as three months.
Cassonetto segnalato da tre mesi inutilizzabile perché infestato da topi.
Virgy, perché non hai portato qui le delegazioni internazionali??
Un piccolo safari dei cassonetti ?❤️ #roma #italia pic.twitter.com/fl53PPf869
— Riprendiamoci Roma (@RiprendRoma) September 15, 2019
City mayor Virginia Raggi blamed privately-run waste processing facilities, saying they had not kept to the terms of a deal agreed in July aimed at cleaning up Rome's streets.
In a Facebook post, Raggi said this week that she had ordered Rome's rubbish collection service, AMA, to prioritise waste collection near the capital's hospitals and schools.
She said rubbish wasn't being collected for “various reasons” including a lack of storage space, as well as one waste processing facility's refusal to accept miscellaneous rubbish (indifferenziata) for the several weeks.
The mayor added that the situation worsened when the capital's one waste processing plant, Rocca Cencia, was put out of action when an overloaded conveyer belt broke down this week.
Rome's garbage problems are chronic, spanning decades of dodgy contractors and mismanagement.
Things worsened further in 2013, when the city's sprawling Malagrotta dump was found to fall short of European standards and shut down
The council has struggled ever since to find an alternative, and the city's refuse system regularly reaches crisis point.
Rome's doctors' association warned in July that overflowing bins risked becoming a health hazard, as trash putrefies in the summer heat and draws swarms of flies, cockroaches, rats and seagulls.