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 results of Hera's integrated waste management system

The Hera Group is a major player in the field of municipal waste management. Hera manages the urban waste service in six provinces of Emilia-Romagna for a total of 132 municipalities. As well as these municipalities, Hera also manages another 3 in the province of Florence. In addition, through Marche Multiservizi, it also serves 40 municipalities in the Province of Pesaro-Urbino and another 6 municipalities in areas adjacent to the Marche Region. Since 2013, through AcegasApsAmga, it has served 6 municipalities in the provinces of Padua and Trieste. In total, Hera served 187 municipalities in 2017 for a total population of 3.3 million inhabitants.

Total municipal waste collected, by area
thousands of tonnes 2015 2016 2017
Hera 1,627.5 1,632.4 1,617.1
AcegasApsAmga 247.3 247.3 246.8
Marche Multiservizi 167.5 167.1 175.2
Total 2,031.9 2,046.8 2,039.0
Kg per inhabitant 601 612 609

The area served by Hera is characterized by a high level of production of similar-to-municipal waste and, as such, has one of the highest annual per-capita waste production rates in Italy: 609 kilograms per capita (629 kilograms per capita in Emilia-Romagna, 614 in Pesaro and 526 in Triveneto), compared with a national average of 486 kilograms in 2015 (source: 2017 Ispra Municipal Waste Report).  The figure is down compared to 2016, thanks to a 1% reduction in the Emilia-Romagna region.

The area served by the Hera Group has a very well-structured collection system that makes it possible to separately collect many different types of municipal waste, primarily for material recovery, reconciling the needs of the Municipalities with management efficiency and effectiveness.

Hera’s Waste Management System (WMS) is characterized by three main services:

  • local collection: these are widespread collections throughout the territory, primarily targeted at residential users and small, non-residential users and can be carried out using:
    • roadside bins, set up according to the Basic Drop-Off Points (IEB) model which groups the main collection chains into individual stations; in recent years, electronic traceability systems for disposal monitoring (e.g. the “lid” model for non-separated waste or lock for separated waste collection chains) are becoming increasingly widespread in combination with road containers;
    • door-to-door collection, carried out at the users’ premises, where residents set out the waste on fixed days and times for collection.
  • residential collection for “target”, non-domestic users that produce specific waste similar to urban waste (cardboard in shops, glass or tins in bars, organic waste in canteens or restaurants, etc.);
  • Waste collection centres: also known as Drop-Off Points, these infrastructures are present in almost all the municipalities served by Hera and complete the range of services offered to residents for dropping off separated urban waste. The use of waste collection centres is becoming a real habit for residents: a wide range of categories of urban waste (including certain hazardous waste) can be safely disposed of; bulky and heavy waste can be disposed of; in many areas there is a discount system that rewards the disposal of many categories of differentiated waste.

The system is also supplemented by the residential collection of bulky waste (free of charge, by phone call or by appointment), the collection of green waste, and the collection of other types of hazardous waste at specific businesses (such as batteries and pharmaceuticals). Lastly, roadside collection and collection at shopping centres of WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and of used vegetable oil is gradually spreading.

To improve their effectiveness, the collection services are diversified according to standardized area types (city centres, residential areas, tourist areas, suburban areas, industrial zones). For each area, the collection system that best fits with urban, environmental and local characteristics is identified. The aim is to maximize the percentage of separate waste collection and its quality by providing a technically and economically sustainable service.