Riciclo Aperto – Paper recycling facilities open to the public

18 November 2016

Riciclo Aperto, the annual recycling initiative returned April 15-17, opening the doors of the facilities in the paper and cardboard recycling sector to schools, the local community, institutions, media, and all those who are interested in understanding, witnessing the various stages of the industrial process, to see what happens to paper and cardboard once disposed of in the appropriate containers. The initiative promoted by Comieco – National Consortium for the recovery and recycling of cellulose packaging – in cooperation with Assocarta, Assografici, Unionmaceri and Federmacero, and sponsored by the Environment Ministry, is now in its 15th Edition and was intended to reassure the public about the success of their separate waste collection, and to educate young people about a more responsible use of resources. Eighty-nine facilities across the country participated in “Riciclo Aperto”, and, over the three days, the open-door event welcomed residents and students who were curious to learn about the various stages of the “cycle of recycling”: from the waste paper selection platforms, where cellulous waste is selected according to type and size and where most of the significant impurities are eliminated (such as plastic bags, cellophane, etc.), to pulp mills where new rolls of paper are produced, the big rolls of recycled material ready to be shipped off to the paper industry, where it is processed for the production of new packaging and paper, as well as decorative ornaments and designer pieces. More specifically, over the three days of the event, 40 facilities in the northern regions opened their doors to the public, 12 in the center and 37 in the south (including waste selection platforms, paper mills, paper producers and museums). “This year, Comieco reaches an important milestone: 30 years of activity,” said Ignatius Capuano, Chairman of the Consortium. “Three decades in which the Consortium has worked, together with the public, institutions and industry, so that Italy can take its place on the podium in the recycling of materials in Europe. After the steel industry, in fact, the Italian paper industry is the sector that uses, in absolute terms, the greatest amount of secondary raw material. With the development of urban waste collection and thanks to the work carried out by our Consortium, Italian industry has been able to break free from the import of foreign raw materials. Today, waste paper represents 55% of the raw material used by Italian paper mills for new production. RicicloAperto, which over 15 years has welcomed 210,000 visitors, was conceived with the aim of giving recognition to the results of the entire sector involved in the recycling of paper and cardboard: the excellence of Italy working each day to transform municipal waste into new resources to be introduced into the production cycle.”