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Urban waste: Italy on its way, but still far from European standards

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Istat report: waste per capita decreases by 3 kg in one year, but the European average is still better. 46% is recycled or turned into compost.

Good news on the front of urban waste production in Italy and Europe. In Italy, the weight per capita of garbage produced decreased by 3 kg from 2013 to 2014: 487.8 kg per head, against a European average of 475 kg. Surprisingly, the amount of garbage recycled and turned into compost in Italy is 46%, 2% more than the European average.

The data about Italy was published in the report “Us Italy. 100 stats to understand the country we’re living in” (“Noi Italia. 100 statistiche per capire il Paese in cui viviamo”) by the National Statistics Institute. According to the report, the biggest amount of waste was collected from the regions of Central Italy. The rate of waste disposed of in landfills keeps decreasing: in 2014 it was 153.5 kg per head, 27.7 less than 2013.

Concerning waste management, the best performances were recorded in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, in Lombardy and in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Waste sorting rates in 2014 reached 45%, i.e. the goal set by national regulations for 2008. In the ranking of waste sorting, the first positions go to the Autonomous Province of Trento and to the region of Veneto, whose rate is higher than 65%, the goal set for 2012. Sicily, on the contrary, is the farthest away from the target (12.5%).

In the meanwhile, a leading example comes from some other European countries. At the European level, 475 kg of waste per capita was produced in 2014, of which 28% was recycled, 28% ended up in landfills, 27% was incinerated and 16% was transformed into compost. Slovenia ranks the highest in recycling, with a 49% rate, followed by Germany with 47%, while Italy has an overall recycling rate of 28%. However, considering composting too, Italy scores 46%, 2% more than the European average.

The garbage that is incinerated in Italy amounts to 21%, below the EU average (27%). Estonia ranks the highest with 56%, followed by Denmark (54%), Finland and Sweden (50%). The biggest producers of urban waste, according to the data elaboration centre Eurostat, are Danes, with 759 kg per capita, while the most environmental friendly are Romanians, with less than 300kg per capita.

For more details, read the Istat report

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