Bari, 20 February, 2015 – Today, Nicchi Vendola President of the Region of Puglia and Roberto DeSantis, President of the National Packaging Consortium, signed a memorandum of understanding as part of the Comuni Ricicloni Puglia award ceremony. The objective of the agreement is the launch of new separate waste collection services aimed at improving the results for the recycling and recovery of packaging waste across the region. Among the tools for implementing the agreement is the support of CONAI, to design, at a local level, new waste collection services that will involve both provincial capitals and the ARO (Areas of Optimised Collection – not yet in operation) in accordance with regional legislation. A further detail regards the standardisation of regional models, and will be shared by the region of Puglia and CONAI. This foresees a mono-material collection of waste paper and cardboard packaging, mono-material glass, and multi-material for paper, steel and aluminium waste packaging, with the aim of optimising the flows of collected waste at the facilities and improve the quality of materials destined for recycling. Also planned, is the mapping of the system of facilities and the commitment by both parties, to identify and evaluate opportunities to create new recycling centres for materials sourced from the separate collection of urban waste, in order to facilitate waste recovery and develop new entrepreneurship in the sector. Lastly, the Consortium will cofinance the launch of public information campaigns and training courses for civil servants. “We are signing this Protocol because we believe the conditions exist for the significant development of separate waste collection in the Region of Puglia,” said Roberto De Santis, President of CONAI. “The Protocol is the framework in which you set out the agreements with individual AROs or the municipalities for the preparation of executive projects, support in communicating with the public, and providing assistance in the start-up phase. Among the most significant provisions to be undertaken is mapping the system of facilities in order to program the necessary investments to obtain a homogeneous coverage of the region. Added to the environmental benefits, such as the reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill, there are the economic ones, as well, including the fees for the collection of packaging waste according to those forecast in the ANCI/CONAI Agreement, and opportunities for increasing the activities of the recycling sector“. “The destruction of materials is not a sustainable solution; the recycling and recovery of waste is the measure to which we should strive,” said Nichi Vendola, President of the Region of Puglia. “With recycling, we can express a new economic model, and the commitment of the most exemplary municipalities of Puglia is a clear signal that to achieve excellent results in separate waste collection is a possible objective, even in our region“. In Puglia, the results of separate waste collection were slightly above the Center-South regional average in 2013. In fact, packaging waste supplied to the CONAI system came to 214,566 tonnes at the regional leveI. Each resident collected about 44kg of packaging and the fees recognised by the Consortium for the quantities collected were approximately 17 million Euros. A good separate waste collection of packaging also guarantees, in addition to an environmental benefit, substantial economic benefits. In fact, the collection of better quality waste means higher fees, as forecasted in the ANCI-CONAI agreement for municipalities. For 16 years, the Consortium has worked closely with local institutions to develop quality separate waste collection and the recycling of steel, aluminium, paper, wood, plastic and glass packaging waste. It has dedicated an extraordinary commitment, over many years to the regions struggling to meet legislative objectives. This commitment is further reinforced in the new ANCI-CONAI agreement through the allocation of 5 million Euros per year, valid until 2019. Nationally, CONAI and the consortia in the sector guarantee that all packaging waste sourced from separate collection and delivered to them will be sent for recycling.