Green Jobs. Waste, and the country gets back to work.

06 March 2015

Another 89 thousand jobs and an increase in turnover of 6.2 billion in the 2014-2020 period. This is the benefit for Italy with the commitment to recycle 50% of urban waste, transferring paper, glass, plastic, metals, wood, and organic waste from the landfill to recovery plants. The calculation is in the report that Conai will be presenting before the States General of the Green Economy at Ecomondo. “We made a theoretical and a practical count,” explains Roberto De Santis, President of Conai. “In the first case we assume a perfect country, where all regions reach the 50 percent minimum target for 2020 and the use of the landfill is practically non-existent. A beautiful scenario, with almost 200 thousand new jobs. But in all truth, it is much more a dream than a forecast. With the data we have on hand, we believe that in 2020 we can arrive at 50 percent recycling as a sum of all the regions, those that go beyond the objective and those that are late. This assessment is realistic and still provides very interesting results, with 4 million tons of waste that could possibly be removed from the landfill.” A projection based on the present. Today Italian waste material is made up primarily of two elements: one third urban waste sent to recycling and just over 40 percent going to the landfill; but in the North this 40 percent falls to 20, and in the Central South it rises to 60 percent. This means that the most virtuous scenario would require an increase in waste separation in the areas where it is still a very low percentage, as well as an increase in the number of waste handling systems in regions where the citizens are already doing their part and the industrial system is falling behind. The result of these two interventions would create business volumes in the production chain (separate waste collection, transport, recycling, composting) of 6.2 billion over the 2014-2020 period, with 1.7 billion in investments in infrastructures and an added value of 2.3 billion. “To reach this result it is necessary to also intervene on the offer side: it is necessary to create more products that use recycled materials,” adds De Santis. “It is true that green public procurement exists, or the obligation of the public administration to acquire a specific quota of green products, but it is also true that the market needs to be expanded, with investments in research to widen the range of the current offering. Like Conai, we have invested 400 thousand Euros to improve the quality of processes used on the materials that reach separated waste collection.” Source: la Repubblica