Garbage, Italians produce too much and differentiate little

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Published data from the Waste Registry Office Ispra: positive Triveneto, negative Emilia-Romagna, Sicilia and Calabria.

The unbearable lightness of garbage has now a clear weight: 487 kg. It’s the amount of garbage that each Italian throws every year. Or, at least, it is the average, since there are significant differences from region to region. The data comes from the Waste Registry Office, established by law at the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection (Ispra). According to the latest available update (2013), nearly 29.6 million tons of waste end up in Italian bins, and only 12.5 (42.3%) of these are differentiated.

Emilia Romagna holds the record of garbage production. Each of its citizens produces an average of 625.3 kg of waste. They’re followed by Toscana and Val D’Aosta. The champions of cleanliness, on the other hand, are the inhabitants of Basilicata (358.7 kg) and Molise (394.2).

The area where recycling is more spread is the north-east: Veneto recycles 64.7% of waste, followed by Trentino-Alto Adige (64.6%) and Friuli-Venezia Giulia (59%). At the bottom, Sicilia (13.4%) and Calabria (14.7%). Italians are more used to separate domestic organic waste (42%) followed by paper (24.4%). The real problem is glass, metal and electronic waste (WEEE).

Val D’Aosta and Liguria excel in recycling wood (which is over 10% of the total amount of waste) whereas Puglia in collecting plastic.

In the special list of the provinces, Treviso, Belluno and Pordenone have the record in waste collection (over 70%). On the other hand, Olbia-Tempio, Rimini and Ravenna are the areas where the most garbage is produced.

Going beyond the border the situation improves and Italy is lagging behind. The bins of the peninsula, in fact, are the fullest in Europe: the EU average is 422 kg of waste per person each year, 65 kg less.

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