5-Star Municipalities: Capannori, Lucca

Separated waste disposal: The Capannori model

Refuse is a myth. It doesn’t exist. The Municipality of Capannori has proved it. Taking one step at a time, it is possible to achieve a situation of "Zero refuse" and to recycle and make money from recycling. If the Municipality of Capannori has succeeded, why can’t the same be done elsewhere? Why not the other Municipalities, instead of poisoning their residents, food sources and the environment with their incinerators? Yes, why not? What do the town councils have to say for themselves? In whose interests? And why do they refuse to allow the public sittings of their town council to be filmed? Bashfulness? They will never give up, but neither will we.

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"Capannori is the first Italian town council to adopt a “Zero refuse strategy”.
In recent years, Capannori has proven that increasing amounts of refuse is not an immutable fact.
The Municipality, together with ASCIT (the local company that deals with the collection of refuse), have undertaken a complete re-organisation of the service. They have eliminated all of the communal bins and have begun doing “door to door” home refuse collection, providing each family with the necessary equipment for differentiated waste disposal.

In Capannori, this “door to door” refuse collection service has been established for 26 thousand of the 45 thousand residents, with more than 80% of the refuse now being separated.
Between 2004 and 2007, some 56,861 tons of refuse have been sent for recycling.
Since the implementation of the “door to door” refuse collection service, the quantity of non-separated refuse has dropped by more than 10,000 tons.
Solely thanks to the separate collection of paper refuse, in 2007 we saved 100,000 trees, 2.85 million litres of water and 9,100 tons of CO2 emissions were saved. By way of example, the 2.85 million litres of water saved is equivalent to the annual water consumption of 31,647 residents.
Then again in 2007, a total of 15,723 tons of separated refuse were collected. In the Province of Lucca, the average cost for the disposal of non-separated waste is equivalent to 160 Euro per ton. If those 15,723 tons had landed up in the non-separated refuse circuit, the cost of disposal for the refuse would have run to 2,515,680 Euro.
Instead, the cost of delivering the 15,723 tons of separated material to the recycling plants amounted to only 507,688 Euro. Furthermore, it must be remembered that paper is a resource with a certain value. In fact, the sale of the collected paper provided revenues of 340,010 Euro: therefore, there was a saving of 2,348,000 Euro.

“Door to door” refuse collection requires more workers. From when these operations began, until today, 30 new people have been engaged.
With the savings achieved by not having to dispose of non-separated refuse, in addition to covering the cost of the new engagements, the Municipality has been able to reduce the waste disposal charges debited to each resident by 20% on the variable portion."
Prepared by Marco Boschini, www.comunivirtuosi.org

Ps: The Pissed-off Grillo guys of Faenza are busy organising the first “P-Day: The revenge of the Piadina (Maize-meal pancake)” event for Saturday, 8 November. This will be a day when people will be able to go to one of the stalls that will be set up and eat a “piadina” at half-price, thereby symbolising our rejection of the American fast-food multinationals and the re-discovery and protection of our own local flavours. If you happen to be passing through the Emilia-Romagna Region, please pop in.

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