Italy: special waste is four times as much as urban waste

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ISPRA report: in 2014 the amount of treated waste is greater than the amount produced. Recycling over 60%.

A 4 to 1 ratio: special waste produced in Italy is much more than what we usually consider as “common” waste, that is regular urban garbage. This figure, however, is not as alarming as it sounds: Italy is among the first EU countries in the recycling of special waste, according to the latest report of ISPRA (Superior Institute for Environmental Research and Protection).

In 2014 Italy produced about 130.6 million tons of special waste and only 30 million tons of urban waste. The total production has increased by 5% from 2013 to 2014 (over 6.1 million tons). This growth is mostly due to non-hazardous special waste from construction and demolition works, waste treatment, and waste water purification. The amount of hazardous special waste, on the contrary, is almost constant (+0.3%).

The category of “special waste” covers all the waste produced by industries and enterprises that is not classified as urban. It is divided into “non-hazardous” and “hazardous”. The first group mainly derives from the sectors of manufacturing, constructions, demolitions, and some types of waste treatment. The “hazardous” waste, on the other hand, derives from manufacturing activities which use dangerous substances in a quantity large enough to be harmful. A few examples are oil refinement, chemical processes, photographic industry, metallurgic industry, tanning and textile production, waste treatment plants, medical and veterinary research.

In 2014 the amount of waste that was treated, recycled etc., was greater than the amount produced, 133.8 million tons against a production of 130.5 million tons. The total amount of recycled waste increased by 3.3% compared to 2013.

The main form of treatment is material recovery (62.4%) while 1% of the waste is incinerated and 8.5% is landfilled.

Download the ISPRA report

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