In Italy, the management of the waste cycle is emblematic of the many contradictions suffered by the country: the service does not improve while costs borne by families increase. In particular, rates mostly increase in those zones of the country with the lowest income: for example, in the last five years (2007 to 2012) they increased by an average of 48,5% in Campania.

In fact, from South to North, increases are recorded anywhere (more than 20% in Calabria, Molise, Umbria and Liguria) demonstrating the lack of a national policy for waste management, capable of binding the cost elements to elements of quality of the service, to the benefits of those who continue to operate in absolute lack of transparency. Consequence of all this is that in Italy more than 50% of the waste is still ending up in landfills, separate collection struggling in the Centre and South, and the involvement of citizens in the evaluation of the service provided since 2008, is still utopia.
The new European Directive about Waste (200/98/EC), adopted by Italy in April 2010 (Legislative Decree December 3, 2012, No.205) surpasses the concept of recycling to give space to the recovery of the material. Therefore, focus should not be only based on how the collection of waste itself and the percentage of waste separately collected, but rather the actual recycling of the material collected. In practice, it is as if they gave for granted the objectives of collection established by previous legislation have now been achieved, and then they can look beyond, focusing on the recovery of what is collected in terms of matter and energy. Unfortunately, it is not so.
In Italy only 34% of municipal waste is recovered, compared to the European average of 40%; only two countries of the "old Europe", after us: Portugal (19%) and Greece (18%). Half of the waste ends up in landfills, 15 million tons per year, while in Europe 38% of the average waste is landfilled.
Countries that appear to be more virtuous are Austria, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands that recover from municipal waste, respectively, 69, 62 and 61% of the raw material, with an almost non-existent landfill.

 

Country

% Landfill

% Incinerator

% Recycling

% Composting

Bulgaria

100%

0%

0%

0%

Romania

99%

0%

1%

0%

Lithuania

94%

0%

4%

2%

Latvia

90%

0%

9%

1%

Malta

87%

0%

7%

6%

Greece

82%

0%

17%

1%

Cyprus

80%

0%

16%

4%

Slovakia

80%

11%

4%

5%

Estonia

77%

0%

14%

9%

Poland

73%

1%

18%

8%

Hungary

68%

10%

18%

4%

Czech Republic

68%

16%

14%

2%

Portugal

62%

19%

12%

7%

Spain

58%

9%

15%

18%

Slovenia

58%

1%

39%

2%

Ireland

57%

4%

35%

4%

Italy

50%

16%

21%

13%

United Kingdom

49%

12%

25%

14%

Finland

45%

22%

20%

13%

France

31%

34%

18%

17%

Luxembourg

19%

35%

26%

20%

Denmark

4%

54%

23%

19%

Belgium

1%

37%

40%

22%

Austria

1%

30%

30%

39%

Sweden

1%

49%

36%

14%

Germany

0%

38%

45%

17%

Holland

0%

39%

33%

28%

EU (27)

38%

22%

25%

15%

Source: Eurostat data Cittadinanzattiva

Not to recycle adequately represents not only environmental costs, loss of competitiveness and increased operating costs, but also the risk of fines paid by the European Union Member States fo failure to comply with the legislation landfills (Directive 1999/31/EC) and Italy has unfortunately sad primate in the number of infringement proceedings. Last episode was in October 2012, when European Commission decided to refer Italy to the Court of Justice for failure to comply with the provisions of European law and ordered Italy to pay a fine of 56 million euro and a daily fine of € 256.819,20 for the period that may elapse between a second conviction by the Courts of Luxembourg (after that arrived in April 2007) and the actual adaptation to European principles of Italian law and systems management of landfills. Currently 255 dumps – 16 of which contain hazardous waste – are yet to be cleared. Despite the commitments made by the Italian authorities in 2007 was expected to clean up only 31 problematic landfills by the end of 2012. A complete schedule for the completion of the work has been planned only for 132 landfills of 255. In addition, Commission has no information showing that Italy has established an adequate control system to prevent the opening of new illegal landfills.
Certainly the law tax of landfilling does not contribute to the improvement of the Italian situation (€15 per ton compared to the €40 in Germany).

(taken from the Waste Dossier 2013 edited by Observatory prices & rates Cittadinanzattiva)

Last update: February 2013

 

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