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-10% waste in the past 5 years, but collection costs have increased

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Report by Confartigianato says Italians are paying 22.7% more. Highest costs in Lazio, Liguria and Tuscany.

“Over the last five years the amount of waste collected decreased by 10.1%, but for waste collection Italians have paid 22.7% more. There’s something wrong. The tariffs applied by public authorities must respect market rules and cannot be an independent variable: they are often just a way for the authorities to make profits and fix the bugs caused by poor public management”. This is how Confartigianato president Giorgio Merletti denounced the high cost of waste collection and urban cleaning services in Italian cities.

According to the latest report by Confartigianato, the Handicraft Confederation, waste collection tariffs have increased much more than inflation: over the last 5 years they have increased by 22.7%, that is 15% more than the inflation rate (+7.7%), and 13.1% more than the average growth of the cost of this service in the EU (+9.6%).

Confartigianato calculated that Italian families and enterprises had to pay on average €167.80 per capita for the urban cleaning services in 2014, for a total of €10.2 billion.

At a regional level, the highest costs in Italy were recorded in Lazio, with €220.3 per capita. Lazio is followed by Liguria with €212.7 per capita, Tuscany with €210.3, Campania with €196.7, Sardinia with €192.1, Umbria with €182.2, and Emilia Romagna with €168.5.

The most virtuous region in this case is Molise, where citizens pay €116.2 per capita for urban hygiene services. The second place goes to Trentino Alto Adige with €130.6 per capita, and the third place goes to Friuli Venezia Giulia, with an average cost of €130.7.

Paradoxically, the cities with the highest costs also have the lowest service quality. According to the Confartigianato report, Rome holds a negative record for the highest urban hygiene costs and the highest dissatisfaction rate of citizens with regard to this service. The citizens of the capital pay on average €249.9 per capita for waste collection services, 50.9% more than the Italian average and 9.5% more compared to the €228.15 tariff in 2010. Rome absorbs 7.8% of the national expenditure for urban hygiene.

In detail, in Rome the precise cost of urban hygiene services (calculated dividing the cost for the total weight of garbage) amounts to 41.18 cent/kg, that is 24.9% more than the national average (32.97 cent/kg). This high cost is mostly due to street sweeping services, which cost 15.72 cent/kg, 252.7% more than the national average (4.47 cent/kg).

In spite of these high service costs, only 9% of Roman citizens declare to be satisfied with the capital’s cleanliness situation. In Italy, only Palermo has a worse satisfaction rate than Rome, with 7% of citizens declaring to be satisfied with urban hygiene conditions. On the other end of the spectrum, the best situation was recorded in Verona, with a satisfaction rate of 71%, followed by Bologna (49%) and Turin (48%).

In general, the survey by Confartigianato shows that only about one third of all Italian citizens (34%) are satisfied with the cleanliness level of their city. This figure is as much as 29% lower than the European average, which is 62%: Italy is at the last place in Europe for what concerns the citizens’ satisfaction level in urban hygiene. “The public administrations of our municipalities must follow the rules of a healthy enterprise management – adds Confartigianato president Giorgio Merletti – These rules should apply also to public bodies, not just to private companies, and they must aim at increasing the quality of services and making tariffs more convenient. In order to implement the spending review measures announced by the Government, we suggest to cut down local investee companies which do not achieve efficient results”.

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