Circular economy

Top Recycling Municipalities: over 500 Waste Free Cities

Questo post è disponibile anche in: Italian

Boom of municipalities producing less than 75 kg of unsorted waste per inhabitant. Data from the latest Legambiente report.

As many as 525 Italian municipalities produce less than 75 kg/year of dry unsorted waste per inhabitant, while last year they were only 356. This result, which exceeds the most optimistic expectations, was presented by Legambiente in the 2016 edition of the Comuni Ricicloni (“Top Recycling Municipalities”) award.

The cities awarded by the environmental association Legambiente are more than just top recycling municipalities and were awarded with the additional mention “Waste Free”. These cities managed to reduce their amount of dry unsorted waste with different methods but one common denominator: the development of a responsible approach on the part of citizens through home collection, an effective communication, and pricing policies that favour virtuous citizens. It is not by chance that out of 525 Waste Free municipalities, 255 have an individual pricing system and 136 have a standardised system.

At the geographical level, Northern Italy is at the top with 413 Waste Free cities, equal to 79% of the total. Southern Italy follows with 87 municipalities (17% of the total) and Central Italy closes the list with 25 cities (5%). The regions that exceed the national average (7% Waste Free cities on the total of all municipalities) are the following: Veneto (35% Waste Free cities), Friuli-Venezia Giulia (29%), Trentino-Alto Adige (17%) and Campania (9%). The only missing regions in the statistics are Aosta Valley, Umbria, Puglia and Sicily, where there are no municipalities with a high percentage of waste sorting and a low percentage of dry unsorted waste.

The report by Legambiente shows many examples of best practices: Emilia Romagna with a new regional law that introduced penalties and rewards; the cities of Parma and Treviso with individual pricing experiences; the experiment of door-to-door waste collection made in Catanzaro, Calabria. Good results can also be found in Northern Italian cities such as Belluno and Pordenone and medium or small sized towns such as: Empoli (50 thousand inhabitants), Conegliano (Treviso) and Castelfranco Veneto (35 thousand inhabitants), Baronissi (Salerno), Cassano Magnago (Varese), Suzzara (Mantova), Castelfidardo (Ancona), Monsummano Terme (Pistoia), Fucecchio (Florence), Certaldo (Florence), Castelfiorentino (Florence), Pergine Valsugana (Trento), Feltre (Belluno), Vittorio Veneto (Treviso), Paese (Treviso) Montebelluna (Treviso), Oderzo (Treviso), Este (Padova).

However, according to Legambiente, for a fully Waste Free Italy and to promote the circular economy it is essential to make one more effort: these good practices must be extended to become a shared standard on the whole national territory, starting from the large-scale diffusion of the individual pricing system.

This year Legambiente has introduced new criteria in its rating: in order to be nominated among the possible Top Recycling municipalities, it is necessary not only to abide by the 65% waste sorting target imposed by the law, but also to guarantee high recycling quality and good prevention policies. The rankings are divided by region and provincial capital above and below 10 thousand inhabitants, and they include the cities in which citizens have thrown away less than 75 kg of dry unrecyclable waste. The report by Legambiente also lists all the municipalities (1520, like last year) which respect the targets imposed by the Legislative Decree 152/06, meaning that they sort and recycle at least 65% of the waste produced.

See the ranking

Download the report

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