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Italy with the Zero Waste Law intends to bring forward the European deadline of 2020 for the closure of incinerators and landfills: a promoting committee has raised awareness throughout Italy, municipality by municipality, with a collection of signatures, because everyone close to them has something to "fix". Massimo Piras talks about what it is and the advantages of the proposal.
1) When did your initiative start and what do you ask?
The popular initiative proposal "Zero Waste Law"Began in June 2012 from a draft of mine, signed as president of Zero Waste Lazio, which was inspired by the very recent Resolution of the European Parliament of 24 May 2012 which for the first time set the closure of incinerators and landfills in Europe as of 2020. The year 2020 is indicated by the entire international Zero Waste movement as the symbolic date for achieving the result Zero Waste - Zero waste, we have anticipated with a pioneering law in Italy.
2) Who is the promoting committee composed of today? how many are you?
Countryside Zero Waste Law was born from the draft in January 2013 with the formation of the National Promoting Committee, now composed of about 500 organizations in which national associations are present (Ass. Comuni Virtuosi - Anpas - Arci - Re: Common - Fare Verde - Rete Zero Waste Italy), local associations and committees Zero waste in all 20 regions, movements and civic lists (M5S - National Civic List-Citizens' Network), meetups and Municipalities that have joined our Campaign which is still ongoing.
3) Are there any areas of the country that are more active and involved?
There are particularly sensitive regions, such as Campania, Puglia, Lazio and Tuscany, but the success of the proposal is due to the fact that the whole context of the waste management: from the critical issues posed by landfills to those of incinerators to those of composting and anaerobic digestion plants. Everywhere there is therefore a critical element in which the Zero Waste Law from a strategic horizon, a direction, that of Recycling and Recovery.
4) Are there any local institutions that have collaborated?
Many municipalities, some have explicitly approved a decision to join, others have actually supported the path. They are the essential nucleus of the territorial institutions in contact with the citizens from which we believe this movement should and can restart from below. Given that by law it is up to the Municipalities to decide how to collect waste, the activation of door-to-door collection, we remind you that for us it is the first step towards Zero waste. We must start by eliminating road bins by creating a responsible and virtuous system for citizens, otherwise we cannot actually start recycling or all related reduction and recovery practices.
5) How did the business world look at your initiative?
He is still at the window today, but we believe he is interested in activating concrete prospects in a time of industrial crisis in which the recycling sector is the second leading industry of the economy in Europe. Furthermore the Zero Waste Law anticipating the European Directive is an essential point of revival of the economy and local employment, when fully operational this new industrial cycle can produce about 500 thousand new jobs from door-to-door collection to reuse centers to recycling centers and composting plants to professionalism related to the redesign of recyclable and compostable materials to new small and medium processing companies that will avoid the importation of virgin raw materials from abroad.
6) What kind of difficulties did you encounter in collecting signatures on this issue?
No particular difficulties, except for sectors linked to industrial lobbies. Today it is already established that the management of current waste with landfills and incinerators is unsustainable both from an ecological, health and economic point of view. In fact, our proposal aims to cut the incentives for the systems of destruction of matter by moving them to systems for the recovery of matter, something on which there is no longer strong opposition.
7) What best practices can we look at in Europe on this issue?
In Europe we can refer to the systems of separate collection at home, now consolidated for years in France, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and others, which show that the recycling / recovery economy is essential to greatly reduce dependence on imports. In some cases they are proceeding with the elimination of incineration for the trivial reason that they have a chronic shortage of materials to burn when they are recycled.