Recycling

By the word recycling, we mean the set of operations, strategies and methods that are used in order to recover the materials and to reduce the quantity of waste sent to the dumps and incinerators. As pointed out before, man has always been used to recover his goods or to recycle his waste up to the industrial revolution. Starting from that time, the massive production of consumer goods and the great availability of resources did not make modern man feel the need to give his waste a second life . Everything started changing from the Seventies when the costs of energy and the awareness of living on a finite planet with limited resources led to the application of measures to reduce human pressure. As noted before the European Directives and the Italian Legislation indicate prevention and reduction of waste upstream, as the first feasible choices in the area of waste management (waste hierarchy). In case this is not possible, measures for the preparation and reutilization of waste follow, and subsequent to these, measures to recycle waste.
Only some waste, of specific categories of materials, can be recycled. These categories of materials usually follow a separate course and are collected through a specific system of separate waste collection that we have started to experiment daily in our homes. The separate collection systems that are proving to be more efficient and economically sustainable are those related to raw materials that the packaging is made of (paper, glass, plastic, aluminium and wood). In order to simplify the management, collection and disposal procedures, specific consortiums have been created for each of these categories of materials. The efficiency in the recovery is often very high. This success can be explained in two ways: firstly, even after having carried out their function, these materials have a sufficiently high market value which justifies the investment effort; furthermore, as a result of the commitment of the consortiums, of the producers and distributors and also us consumers, very high levels of efficiency have been reached, over the years.

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

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    Per capita municipal solid waste disposed in landfill in Europe, year 2015

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    Per capita disposal of waste in landfills in Italy and in the EU

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  • energy

    Biofuels from vegetable waste

    Look at the video

    energy

    Plastic and paperboard packaging

    Look
  • energy

    Biogas plant

    Look

    energy

    Nek Chand Rock Garden

    Look
  • energy

    Abandoned plastic

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    energy

    Separate waste collection in Italy, percentage in 2015

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Facts