57.7%
separate waste collection
in an area with 3.3 million
inhabitants
94.6%
of recovered waste
the share of separate waste
collected, in favour of a circular
economy
103,000
tons of recycled plastic
produced by Aliplast

Equipment to support the circular economy

Through its Herambiente subsidiary, the Hera Group manages 92 treatment plants for recovery and disposal of urban waste, and of hazardous and non-hazardous special waste among which the main ones are: 10 waste-to-energy plants, 11 composting plants/digesters and 15 selection plants. Marche Multiservizi manages two landfills and one biostabilization plant. Herambiente also holds a 50% stake in Enomondo, which operates a biomass plant.

The initiatives launched by Herambiente in terms of material and energy recovery continued in 2017, characterized by a strong acceleration in the process of transformation of its industrial activities in view of a “circular economy”.

In fact, 2017 was marked by two important and fundamental events that testify to Herambiente’s ability to transform the principles underlying the concept of circular economy into facts:

  • acquisition of control (through an 80% stake) of the Aliplast Group, leader in the production of rigid and flexible films, as well as regenerated polymers, starting from plastic waste from packaging and plastic products;
  • full operational start-up of the construction site for a plant to produce biomethane from the organic fraction of separately-collected urban waste.

The two events mentioned above also reflect one of the deepest characteristics that guide Herambiente’s development choices, namely to promote balanced growth both through internal and external routes (M&A). The two initiatives represent, from the point of view of a circular economy, the most concrete and innovative initiatives that can be undertaken today.

In parallel with the two important initiatives described above, the constant development of Herambiente’s plant pool continued, following these main guidelines:

  • identification and implementation of solutions to efficiently produce and use electrical and thermal energy in the sites where waste-to-energy plants and landfills with energy recovery are located;
  • implementation, in the liquid industrial waste segment, of technologies aimed at recovering, rather than disposing of, organic water, solvents, sludge, etc;
  • modernization and upgrade of organic matrix composting and aerobic stabilization plants to align all Herambiente Group plants to the best available technical standards and BATs (Best Available Technologies);
  • integration of the plant system linked to M&A operations, increasingly oriented towards market segments related to industrial waste management and recovery and “full service” services at production plants of medium to large sized companies operating in the oil & gas, food & beverage, large-scale retail, etc. sectors;
  • activities related to the construction of new landfill volumes for non-recoverable fractions. In this perspective, a project was started in 2017 to assess the feasibility of “landfill mining” operations, given the high number of exhausted landfills in the post-mortem phase currently operated by Herambiente.