Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Posted by BioMethER
No comments | Tuesday, December 01, 2015
Over the last years the municipal waste management system in Italy has considerably improved, with a decline in production, partially due to the crisis, and an increase of recycling rates. According to the latest report WAS 2015 "Transformation of the Italian waste management", if the policy makers  will be able to create stable and organic regulatory framework, the great growth potential of this sector in Italy will bring environmental, economic and social benefits for the entire country.

The achievement of the 2030 EU targets (70% of total recycling) would result in net benefits for Italy up to 15 billion euro. The development of  a national biomethane value chain can significantly contribute to these benefits, estimated to contribute with more than 1.3 billion euro.  Current results of organic waste collection are promising: 5.7 million tons of organic waste are separately collected, i.e. the 55% of the total. The 80% is processed into compost, while less than a tenth produces biogas: 450 thousand tons. A 72.5% rate of households organic waste collection, could sustain by 2020 the development of a biomethane value chain, leading to employment, economic growth and reduction of dependency on fossil fuels.

In Italy, the industry of waste management and recycling brings together a variety of heterogeneous operators, both in size, either by business or for results. The analysis of the 70 largest players (representing over half of the industry) presented in the report shows that the best performers are the large and more integrated companies (large mulitutilities), able to cover the entire supply chain. In 2013, these operators sustained about 50% of the investments of the entire sector, primarily for the maintenance and modernization of treatment plants. The strategy of strengthening of infrastructural facilities, however, was held back by delays and inconsistencies of regional planning, uncertainties of financing systems, the lack of clarity in national legislation and the local opposition to the construction of the plants.

The action of policy makers will therefore be decisive for the future: the sector needs greater clarity and regulatory stability in order to reduce uncertainty and allow medium to long term planning and investments. All in all, it requires a real national strategy for waste, clear and long-term, that can really enhance the skills and industrial resources Italian.

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