Tackle the problem at it‘s source
While organizing the protest, the inhabitants of Capannori were already confronted with presenting an alternative. If the waste wouldn‘t be incinerated anymore to ensure public health, it wouldn‘t be possible to landfill it, either. So, the members of the new campaign started a new waste management plan. Instead of dumping waste in huge garbage bins like it is usually done in major parts of Italy, it was collected by ASCIT, Capannori‘s garbage collection, at each doorstep. A new pay scheme was introduced, which included a fee on each garbage bag. This led to an increased recycling rate. Additionally, information about recycling and also bio composter where handed out to families. Between 2004 and 2013 the percentage of recycled waste rose from 30 to over 80 percent. That is double of the EU-average. But far better: Most of the waste wasn‘t even produced anymore. The percentage of annually produced waste sank at the same time about 40 percent to 400 Kg per person. An average european „produces“ 500 Kg each year.Today, ZeroWaste spread to many parts in Europe. „The Basque region, Catalonia, Wales and since only now Slovenia are new model students regarding ZeroWaste“, says Rossano Ercolini. Recently he went to Nizza where he spoke with representatives about a new waste management. But still, there are some parts for which ZeroWaste is „a rather new idea“, says Ercolini. „For example Germany or Austria. But we are working on that.“
The most sustainable waste is the one not produced
The European Commission already declared that from 2020 on, only „non-recyclable materials“ would be allowed to incineration or landfill. „Many regions, which relied heavily on incineration face a problem now“, says Ercolini. If recycling rates increase the resource for incineration will be missing. In some regions this led to a new business. Naples, the city with the most famous waste problem in Europe, annually ships thousands of tons of it to the netherlands where the incineration sites already lack their resource for gaining energy.Saving energy by not consuming it: That would be the core-thought of ZeroWaste, says Ercolini. By now he leads Europe‘s first „ZeroWaste Research Center“ in Capannori. In 2013 he was rewarded with the „Goldman Environmental Prize“, one of the most important environmental prizes there is. „We do our better“, says Ercolini. „Not our best but we are quite close.“ Fotos: Goldman Environmental Prize Further links: Video about recycle-champion “Capannori“
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