Integrated waste management

In compliance with Legislative Decree 152/06, the term management includes all the activities regarding collection, transport, recovery and disposal of waste, while the term integrated waste management indicates all the activities aimed at optimizing the said management. An integrated management system is the practical transposition of the principles set out in the Italian Laws, and the European Directives.
There are many different aspects that must be considered in the correct planning of an integrated management system and all these contribute to the choice of the most suited solution for disposal of the waste produced in the situation which is being examined. First of all it is important to evaluate the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of waste, the aims of separate waste collection must be established, and also the transportation utilized, waste treatment and disposal plants that can receive the waste must be identified. Having evaluated these variables, the next step is the examination of the available operative instruments, with different possible options: separate waste collection, plants for pre-treatment of waste before disposal, plants for energy recovery, (such as incinerators, gasifiers, etc.) material recovery plants, and controlled dumps. When all the data has been collected, the appointed technicians and engineers and researchers will choose the best solution using a series of instruments such as: mass and energy flow, environmental impact assessment (EIA), economic assessments, life cycle assessment (LCA) and risk analysis.
According to the latest ISPRA report (2016 edition), in Italy, landfills still account for 26% of municipal waste produced. Recycling of the various parts coming from sorting or from mechanical biological treatment (MBT) of municipal waste reaches, overall, 44% of production: 18% consists of recovery of the sorted organic part (food waste+garden cuttings) and over 26% of recovery of the other parts. 19% of municipal waste produced is incinerated, while 2% is sent to manufacturing plants, such as cement plants, power plants, etc., to be used in the production cycle and to produce energy (co-incineration); 1% is used, after adequate treatment, for covering landfills, 3%, consisting of waste resulting from MBT plants, is sent for further treatment, and 1% is exported. Finally, the “other” item includes, for example, the quantity of waste remaining in storage at the end of the year at treatment plants

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Facts