sorted waste
over an area with 3.1 million
waste recovered
the amount of sorted waste
recuperated, going towards
a circular economy
thousand tons of CO2 avoided
with the plastic recycled
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, serving 174 municipalities in 4 regions for a total population of 3.1 million inhabitants. In Emilia-Romagna, Hera Spa manages the municipal waste service in six provinces, for a total of 119 municipalities. In 2018 Forlì and 12 other municipalities in the province of Forlì-Cesena formed an in-house company and left the management assigned to Hera Spa (in fact in 2017, 132 municipalities were served in Emilia-Romagna). Besides these municipalities, Hera Spa manages three others in the province of Florence. In addition, through Marche Multiservizi, it also serves 40 municipalities in the province of Pesaro-Urbino and another six municipalities in areas adjacent to the Marche Region. Since 2013, through AcegasApsAmga, it has served 6 municipalities in the provinces of Padua and Trieste.

Total municipal waste collected, by area
thousands of tonnes 2016 2017 2018
Hera 1,632.4 1,617.1 1,554.7
AcegasApsAmga 247.3 246.8 252.8
Marche Multiservizi 167.1 175.2 172.8
Total 2,046.8 2,039.0 1,980.3
Kg per inhabitant 612 609 632


The analysis of the data on collected waste must take into account the change in scope due to 13 municipalities in the province of Forlì switching to in house management. For the same area, the trend in the 2017-2018 two-year period shows an increase in the quantities collected in Emilia-Romagna (+4.6% compared to 2017), in Triveneto (+2.4%) and a slight decrease in the Marche region (-1.3%).

Hera’s service area is characterized by a high level of production of similar-to-municipal waste and, as such, it has one of the highest annual per capita waste production rates in Italy: 632 kilograms per inhabitant (650 kilograms per capita in Emilia-Romagna, 645 in Marche and 538 in Triveneto), compared with a national average of 489 kilograms in 2017 (Source: Ispra, 2018 Municipal Waste Report). The value increased overall compared to 2017, in particular in Emilia-Romagna and Triveneto.

Hera Group’s service area has a very well-structured collection system that can separately collect many different types of municipal waste, primarily for material recovery, reconciling the needs of the Municipalities with operating 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-separate waste or locking systems for separate waste collection chains) have become increasingly widespread in combination with road containers;
    • door-to-door collection, carried out at the users’ premises, where residents set out the waste for collection on set days and times.
  • residential collection for “target”, non-residential users that produce specific waste similar to municipal waste (cardboard in shops, glass or cans 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 separate municipal waste. The use of waste collection centres is becoming a real habit for residents: a wide range of categories of municipal waste (including certain hazardous waste) can be safely disposed of besides bulky and heavy waste. Moreover, in many territories, there is a system of discounts that rewards the disposal of various categories of separate waste.

The system is also supplemented by the door-to-door 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 (such as batteries and pharmaceuticals), at specific businesses. 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 in 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.