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

The recovery of material and energy in Herambiente's sorting plants

The selection plants treat the municipal and special waste coming from separate waste collection and from industrial or artisan manufacturing in the province in which they are located. The objective of the process, which uses more or less complex technologies and treatment lines according to the type of waste to be treated, is to recover the greatest possible amount of material from the incoming flow and reduce reliance on landfills. These systems recover: paper/cardboard, plastic, wood, metal, glass, biodegradable waste (pruning), tires, textiles, inert materials. The treatment lines used are specific to the characteristics of each collection. Five of the 6 plants have computer vision systems that are particularly efficient in selecting plastic and paper from municipal waste both in terms of flow (hourly quantity of waste treated) and in terms of the quality of the material obtained by the selection.

The scrap of the treatment, the non-reusable fractions and non-reusable material are sent off to be used for energy recovery or to be disposed of.

In 2017, Herambiente’s selection and recovery plants handled 371,905 tonnes of waste, the quantity treated and targeted for recovery was about over 73% of the incoming material, the share used for energy recovery was just over 3%, for an overall recovery of 76.2%. The overall material recovery level confirms the upward trend compared to previous years. A portion of the of non-reusable fractions is used for energy recovery, about 13% of the scrap produced is, in fact, sent to waste-to-energy plants. The project to implement crushing lines to increase the non-reusable fractions for energy recovery is still under way, and the permit for the Granarolo plant was issued at the end of 2017. The crusher will be installed in early 2018. The authorization process for Modena will start during 2018.

Only 22% of the waste treated was disposed of, the waste in stock at the plants at the end of 2017 was less than 2% of the waste that entered the plant.

Percentage of waste sent for recovery of material and energy
% 2015 2016 2017
Bologna 66.3% 71.4% 68.0%
Coriano (RN) 75.9% 81.1% 81.9%
Ferrara 75.5% 87.9% 80.9%
Lugo (RA) 72.7% 79.3% 77.1%
Modena 58.1% 75.7% 73.4%
Mordano (BO) 67.,5% 76.7% 76.9%
Total 69.3% 78.6% 76.2%
Of which material recovery 66.5% 71.3% 72.9%
Of which energy recovery 2.8% 7.3% 3.3%