Recycling, the most virtuous countries in Europe

Italy, like most European countries, is still wasting huge amount of valuable resources depositing them in rubbish dump. According to the latest report published byEuropean Environment Agency (EEA), Austria, Germany and Belgium are the most important countries launderers of Europe with recycling the highest proportion of municipal waste.

European legislation on recycling is clear, by 2020 it will be necessary to recycle 50% of domestic waste and similar. THE solid urban waste consist mainly of domestic waste and in Europe, 5 countries have already achieved the objectives set by the EU.

Austria has the highest percentage of recycling with 63%, immediately followed by Germany with a percentage of 62%, Belgium has an estimate of 58% which drops to 51% for both the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The UK increased the share by recycling of urban waste bringing it from 12% in 2001 to 39% in 2010, just as Ireland has raised the levels of recycling from 11% to 36%. Also in Italy progress has been made, the first relating to the production of waste with a decrease of half a million tons. In 2007, 32.5 million tons of municipal solid waste were produced in Italy, the figure fell to 32 million tons in 2010 (Eurostat data, 2012) and probably, due to the economic crisis and the consequent drop in consumption, in the last three years the production of waste of the boot has dropped further. The most concrete progress is given by the increase in the share of recycling of urban waste which went from 18% in 2001 to around 35% in 2010.

Italy's problem is the heterogeneity of the regions. The boot boasts extremely virtuous regions and others that are decidedly undisciplined. A strong gap between the Region and the Region is also given by the "landfill tax ", introduced in 1996 with Law 549/1995. The tax rates applied are very different from € 5.2 per ton of waste from the Campania Region to € 25.8 per ton of waste from Piedmont. In the European scenario, Italy is among the countries where the actual average level oflandfill tax is the lowest. To learn more about the status of each individual region, consult the EEA document.

In the photo, waste along the Tratturo Camporeale, Foggia. December 2012.

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