ACR+ member ATIA-ISWA Italia – the association that brings together the waste managers in Italy, has officially made a stand on the case in Rome, Italy. After the urgent situation in Sicily, the association has turned its attention to the case of Rome indicating the causes which have blocked the planning and innovation for a modern and sustainable waste management for years.

Rather than taking action in time for the closure of the landfill at Malagrotta, the Italian capital remained inert with respect to the need to plan and improve a modern waste management system, in line with important and ambitious environmental objectives which are shared at the European level. “This situation – says Paola Muraro, the President of ATIA-ISWA – was permissive for mayors who for many years did not have problems in waste management. This was not the situation for many other mayors in the North or South of Italy which found themselves many times in urgent situations where they had to find solutions quickly. The design of the plant system is still far from being finalised, maybe even planned or designed, meaning that waste is sent in bulk for recovery and disposal in extra-regional systems. The Roman system is based on four mechanical-biological treatment plants (MBT) which if efficient, would be sufficient to handle the ordinary waste. But during the year there are recorded physiological peaks due to tourism and events, thus making the system precarious and prone to suffering from logistical and programming problems.

In the North, despite the not always easy confrontation between citizens and local committees, it was possible to build plants, not only for recycling but also for the recovery of material and energy from waste. This was because the local institutions, who were responsible, have carried out their role as the oversight body, and were present at the time of the decisions. There is a need to understand - said the President Muraro - that sustainable waste management is made up of several factors: sustainable planning by public administrations, an adequate presence of the control bodies, an adequate number of facilities and above all the commitment of citizens. Participation and awareness of citizens requires a high capacity for governance and control, including by the central authorities, responsible for the operation of the entire system. In general, this approach requires a prepared public administration, efficient, managerial, executive, which assumes its responsibilities, without thinking of a consensus on the short term. (In Italian)


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