The “Your shoes at the centre” project started at the end of 2017 as an initiative of the CEAS – Centre for Environmental Sustainability Education – to implement the integrated educational actions required by the Regional Education Sustainability Programme for 2017/19. Tender 2017 no. 1.
The aim of the project, in implementation of Regional Laws 27/2009 and 16/2015, is educational and demonstrative, aimed at involving citizens in an activity that will give new life to materials that otherwise would become non-separate waste.
The educational activity focuses on objects close to the lives of young people, sneakers, involving families, schools and other places of aggregation, to promote their transformation into shredded rubber material, specially processed to make ecological flooring (playgrounds or athletics tracks) which in part will be donated to the municipalities of central Italy affected by the earthquake of 2016.
To achieve this, the project has received a contribution from ARPAE on regional resources and is part of the integrated action “Education for the circular economy” of the INFEAS 2017-2019 Programme.
In this edition, the project is completed with the activities of the integrated service for municipal and similar-to-municipal waste and in this context Hera and all the other operators of the Region (excluding ALEA which is still involved in the first phase of activation of the service) have joined.
To support the project Hera has taken on – for the municipalities of its area – the burden of organizing the promotion activities of the initiative, collection, temporary storage and transfer of the shoes to the Benefit ESO SPORT company, in charge of the subsequent phases of management, selection, shredding by the lead organizer CEAS (Centre for Environmental Sustainability Education).
The operational phase took place in the period from the end of April to the end of July and involved 49 municipalities (for about 40% of the regional population), 14 CEAS organizations and all 7 managers of the waste management service, in addition to the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government itself and ARPAE. The communication that accompanied the initiative made it possible to give it widespread importance through the most popular transmission channels including the main social media, the web, TV, various magazines and publications, the projection of videos in stadiums during sports events and was a success factor that led to a response that totalled about 10 tonnes of material collected, of which about 4.5 tonnes just in Hera’s service area.
At the moment there is no news, from the proponents, of a new edition of the initiative in 2019. Hera remains available to support a new edition.
Lastly, among the initiatives with solidarity content, during 2018 Hera started a process to reorganize the “textile waste collection activities”, typically for used clothes and fabrics.
In the past, these activities were carried out on the basis of agreements between municipalities and various social cooperation operators, private operators and non-profit organizations, sometimes present at the same time in the individual municipalities. To ensure adequate transparency on the collection of used clothing and its social aims, in 2018 Hera carried out special tenders in Emilia open to all market operators, including social cooperatives. The tenders involved the award of an increase of the auction base to the benefit of the share of revenue reserved for the municipalities concerned by the service.
The collection of used clothes provides no margin for Hera and the economic result obtained, net of covering the costs of the service, can be allocated by the individual municipalities either to reduce the costs of the municipal waste collection service for residents (therefore of the TARI or of quantity-based tariff taxes) or, alternatively, to specific non-profit organizations identified by the same municipalities.
Several types of interested operators took part in the tenders, and if successful, and they were all committed to offer open-ended job contracts to personnel who had worked for the outgoing operators for at least 90 days.
The operators awarded in Emilia started their activities in July in the province of Bologna and in October in the provinces of Modena and Ferrara. The resources made available to the municipalities of the province of Bologna in 2018 were allocated for about 25% to deduct the costs of the municipal waste collection service and about 75% to non-profit organizations of the area, identified by the municipalities themselves. At the date of preparation of this report, the report on the allocation of resources available in 2018 to the municipalities of the provinces of Modena and Ferrara and their destination was in the process of being prepared.
Operators awarded the contracts will be involved in 2019 for reporting of the traceability and recycling of textiles collected, as part of the preparation of the report “Tracking Waste”, 2019 edition.