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The Italian National Program for Waste Prevention

  •   August 11th, 2014
  •   Category: Regulations
  •   Posted by: Ecodyger

The Italian law on waste is waste

The complexity of the matter and the continuous evolution of environmental regulations have highlighted the need for the industry to have a continuous information / training in order to operate correctly and avoid incurring into administrative and criminal sanctions. In this picture you can imagine the difficulty of ordinary citizens to understand also the guidelines of the matter. Let’s do a minimum of order.

A jungle of laws and decrees

By decree, we mean a legislative act having the force of law adopted by the Government by Parliament delegation. The Legislative Decree 205/2010 came into force on 25 December 2010 and caused major changes to Part IV of the Environmental Code, another Legislative Decree D.Lgs.152/2006. D. Lgs.205/2010 represents the “fourth corrective” to the measure that had sought to operate a general reorganization of environmental legislation. It is reiterated that “The waste management is an activity of public interest.

Here are some of the news

“Policy priorities in waste management” (art.179) have been added according to the following hierarchy defined by the European Directive 2008/98, called the Waste Hierarchy: Preparation for reuse, reuse, treatment, recovery and recycling.

Introduction of extended producer responsibility (Art.178 bis), which is finally understood as any natural or legal person who professionally develops, manufactures, processes, treats, sells or imports products, in the organization of waste management, and of the acceptance of returned products and the waste that remains after their use.

New definitions (article 183) useful to uniquely identify the figures that have to do with waste management, for example:

  • “dealer” means any undertaking which acts as principal, in order to buy and sell waste, including such dealers who do not take physical possession of the waste;
  • “intermediary” means any undertaking arranging the recovery or disposal of waste on behalf of third parties, including brokers who do not acquire the availability of waste material;

New definition of byproduct, entitled byproduct and end-of-waste” (art.184 bis); useful to distinguish what ceases to be called waste from a regulatory standpoint and therefore manageable and usable in any other way.

The ability to reuse earth and rock coming from excavations considering this matter, in the absence of contamination, as a byproduct; just to facilitate the reuse of raw materials according to the philosophy desired with the Waste Hierarchy.

Even for the Register of Environmental Managers there are many innovations to shed more light on the subject (art.212):

  • Enrolled also ENTITIES managing waste and not just business;
  • Registration of companies and logistics operators in the context of intermodal transport of waste
  • Registration of traders and brokers of waste
  • Introduction of simplified forms for enrollment
  • Exemption from registration for the collection and transportation of non-hazardous waste by companies authorized to transport hazardous waste;
  • Exemption from the provision of financial collateral by firms engaged in the transportation of non-hazardous waste;
  • Updating of the inscriptions of the companies performing transport of their own waste (original producer) recorded before 14 April 2008
  • Registration of companies making cross-border transport of waste;
  • Suspension from the Register Office by February 25, 2011 of motor vehicle authorized to transport waste but not enrolled in the Sistri or where it is installed the black box (from data provided by Sistri in Lombardy are installed on the vehicles of 8,882 black box 14,735 requests)
  • Cancellation of such vehicles with immediate effect after 3 months of suspension without adjustment.

Let’s focus, however, on what can be of interest to most citizens and ordinary people talking about the National Program for the prevention of waste.

The National Program for Waste Prevention

By Decree of October 7, 2013, the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea adopted the National Program for Prevention of Waste. We are also pleased to point out that for once, this adoption has taken place within the time limit provided for in the EU Directive 2008/98/EC on December 12, 2013. Italy has complied with the schedule!

What does it mean by “prevention”?

The European Directive defines “prevention” any measure taken before a substance, material or product become a waste and are therefore able to reduce:

  • the amount of waste (including through the reuse of products or the extension of their life cycle);
  • the negative impacts of waste on the environment and human health;
  • the content of harmful substances in materials and products.

Objectives of the program

The purpose of the Program is to decouple economic growth from environmental impacts associated with the generation of waste. Since the total waste generation is linked to socio-economic factors, it was decided to use as an indicator for the objectives of the program in relation to the production of waste performance of the Gross Domestic Product. In fact, the simple reduction of the total production does not necessarily translate into the ability of a system to improve its efficiency by reducing the use of resources, its amount and harmfulness.

On the basis of the data collected by the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (Ispra), the program then sets the following targets for prevention in 2020 compared to the values ​​recorded in 2010:

  • 5% reduction of municipal waste per unit of GDP. In the ‘scope of monitoring to verify the effects of the measures will be considered also the’ trend of the urban waste / household consumption;
  • 10% reduction in the production of hazardous waste per unit of GDP;
  • 5% reduction in the production of non-hazardous waste per unit of GDP. On the basis of new data on the production of special waste, this objective can be revised.

It ‘s obvious that the importance of waste prevention transverse to the whole economic system, including the fact that its discipline finds its articulation with reference to industry regulations that often go beyond the specific waste.

Measurements of the program

In preparing the program, the Government has been primarily considered a number of general measures that can contribute significantly to the success of prevention policies in their entirety. Among the general measures are included the sustainable production, GPP Green Public Procurement, reuse, information and awareness, economic instruments, fiscal and regulation as well as the promotion of research.

Incentives for real prevention

In this scenario, we fervently hope that in the Italian Regional Plans to be submitted by the end of October 2014, there will finally be a real outlet to the letter of the National Prevention Program with the introduction of economic and fiscal instruments that reward finally the adoption of new technologies, such as Ecodyger.

Ecodyger is a technology that enables a drastic waste prevention at source, reducing 70-90% of the generation of junk wet/organic and its subsequent entry into the long chain of collection, transport and delivery.
For economic and fiscal instruments it is meant the incentives for the purchase of these new technologies and clear reductions in the tax on waste for those who prove the use.

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Photo credit marcodelsorbo, via Flickr