The winners of the “Best recycling municipalities” Competition 2014 receive awards from CONAI The star of this year is the Municipality of Cosenza which received the “Start Up” prize while the team composed of the Associazione Nazionale Alpini, GEA Spa and SNUA Srl was acknowledged in a special mention “Making a difference for over 140 years” Today the award ceremony for the 21st edition of the “Best recycling municipalities” was held. The competition, devised by Legambiente and sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment, rewards the local communities, administrations and citizens that obtained the best results for waste collection and management. This year CONAI, the National Packaging Consortium, partner of the Competition, once again rewarded entities that performed particularly well with regards to the separate collection of waste packaging. The Consortium works in close contact with local entities to ensure steel, aluminium, paper, wood, plastic and glass packaging is recovered and recycled, and that these materials collected from urban waste find an effective outlet in the recycling and recovery chain. This year the “Start Up” prize was won by the Municipality of Cosenza which successfully managed to modify its waste management system, seeing separate collection rise from 28% to 52%. In 2013 a memorandum of understanding was signed by CONAI and the Municipality, marking the beginning of a fruitful collaboration. The Consortium supported the Municipality of Cosenza during the start-up phase of its new separate waste system, by co-funding the preparatory communication campaign at the start of the new services and by training workers in waste collection and the delivery of kits to families, while at the same time implementing a system tracking the urban waste produced. This collaboration has resulted in the collection service being improved and perfected: the old street containers have been replaced with new bins while capillary communication to citizens was entrusted to trained operators. A fruitful activity which allowed, in just under two years, moving from 28% to 52% recycling. In addition, an accurate taxing system will soon be activated in the historic centre. The objective: to reach 65% separate collection, once the whole area is served by the door-to-door collection system. The special mention “Making a difference for over 140 years” was awarded at the 87th Adunata Nazionale degli Alpini to the team composed of Associazione Nazionale Alpini, GEA Spa and SNUA Srl for excellent waste collection. For the occasion, which took place in Pordenone last May, GEA SpA (the company managing waste collection on behalf of the Municipality of Pordenone) activated a series of activities aimed at transforming Adunata Nazionale degli Alpini into a sustainable event with a low impact on the environment, thanks to an innovative waste management project implemented in collaboration with Sistema Consortile and SNUA Srl, the company managing the multi-material selection plant for the Municipalities in the Province of Pordenone. About half a million people visited the Friulian town for the event, producing as much waste as the whole town in a month. In addition to excellent waste collection, an information campaign was ran at the event, aiming to inform visitors on how to correctly separate their waste using the bins provided for the occasion. For the first time CONAI organised an “environmental counter” to measure waste production, the total disposal avoided and CO2 emissions (equal to two days of unmoving traffic in an average town). 149.8 tonnes of virgin raw materials were saved and 166.9 tonnes of secondary raw materials will be produced. The extraordinary effort made by the three bodies gave excellent results: 64.4% of waste was separated, the production of 220 tonnes of waste was avoided and 268.6 tonnes of CO2 were prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere. Finally, 36,000 euros were saved as waste did not need to be disposed of. “CONAI attaches great importance to rewarding bodies that perform well in terms of sustainable urban waste management, particularly from packaging,” commented Walter Facciotto, General Director of CONAI. Rewarding Municipalities’ efforts is of fundamental importance because organising an effective separate collection service requires commitment from the public administration as well as the involvement of citizens. We are happy to give visibility to the positive examples set by administrations that manage waste responsibly, transforming it into an environmental and economic resource: environmental because correct waste management favours the reduced landfill and raw material savings; economic because the use of recycled materials boosts the green economy. It is therefore fundamental to continue promoting the development of quality separate collection at a local level. The higher the quality of separate collection, the better the results of successive recycling”. In just over 15 years of activity, Sistema Consortile has managed to reduce volumes of packaging waste destined for landfill by 60%. In over 15 years CONAI’s support in launching separate collection and packaging recycling has had an economic and environmental benefit on the country worth 15.2 billion euros. Additionally, recycling has prevented a total of 125 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Recycling results have been achieved thanks the work CONAI has done and continues to do in the region with the Municipalities, through the recently renewed ANCI-CONAI framework agreement which promotes the development of quality separate collection. Thanks to the conventions activated by the Municipalities in the scope of the agreement, 3.4 million tonnes of packaging waste has been collected every year.