published on 28 June 2019 in energy

Champion Recycling Municipalities 2019

Awards were presented yesterday in Rome to the Comuni Ricicloni 2019 (Champion Recycling Municipalities 2019), the annual event held by Legambiente since 1994 to provide recognition to municipalities most committed to separate collection and reduction of waste. This year the Waste-Free Municipalities, that is those where separate waste collection is performed correctly and individual citizens produce no more than 75 kilos of unsorted waste, were 547, a good 42 more than in 2018. This year a new category has been introduced as well as a different subdivision of the municipalities: those with less than 5000 inhabitants, from 5000 to 15000, more than 15000 and chief towns. This decision is intended to highlight small municipalities, which form the majority and the backbone of Italy.

These figures are encouraging but the battle to achieve a circular economy in Italy, starting from correct management of urban waste by municipal administrations, has not yet been won. No fewer than 421 of the 547 Waste-Free Municipalities are located in Northern Italy. In particular, 294 are in the North-East of the country, and the result has been attained by providing door-to-door collection and variable rate pricing (PAYT). The situation is quite stable without significant variations above all in the central and southern regions of Italy: in the south, waste-free municipalities are slightly increasing, from 76 in 2018 to 84 in 2019, while they remain practically unchanged in central Italy (there were 43 in 2018 and there are 42 in 2019). Going into greater detail, the main increases occurred in 4 regions in the north: 25 more municipalities were added in the already virtuous Trentino Alto Adige, 11 in Emilia Romagna and 10 in Piedmont and Veneto. On the contrary, the results for Lombardy recorded a decrease of 16 Waste-Free Municipalities. Of the provincial capitals, only 3 satisfied the parameters: Treviso, Pordenone and Belluno. Larger municipalities that are not chief towns include Carpi (71 thousand inhabitants) and Empoli (53 thousand inhabitants). National production of waste still remains high: the Comuni Ricicloni 2019 report gives the figure of 487 kg/inhab/year. This is a considerable amount but it also represents a starting point for improvement.

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