Rome - December 01, 2011

Fondazione per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (Sustainable Development Foundation) and FISE UNIRE (National Union of Recovery Business), has issued the report:

The report focuses on the status of the Italian recycling sector in the year 2010, giving a general sight for several types of materials (paper, glass, plastic, wood, iron, aluminium, etc.), comparing data to the ones of the previous years (2008 and 2009) and analysing in deep all the different sectors and their development potentials.

The 2008-2009 crisis had produced a significant drop in consumption and production, which impacted on the demand and use of waste-derived materials. At the end of 2009 a decrease of about 25% was registered in the six materials sectors (iron scraps, aluminium, paper, plastic, wood and glass).
In 2010 there has been a turnaround, recycling began to grow again, back to the level registered before the crisis (Figure 1): +67.9% for iron scraps, +18% for aluminium, +9.3% for paper, +15.4% for wood and +7.5% for glass; just the plastic sector registered a small decline (-0.7%).

material recycling in Italy
Figure 1: Recycling of materials in Italy from 2008 to 2010

Only considering the packaging sector, managed by CONAI (National Packaging Consortium), after a reduction recorded in 2009 equal to 4%, in 2010 the recycled quantity has reached the value of 7.34 million of tons (+5.6% if compared to 2009). The growth of recycling in packaging is differentiated according to the material: +49.7% for aluminium, +10.8% for wood, +8% for glass, +3.8% for paper, +1.4% for plastic and +0.6% for iron scrap.

It should be remarked that, in the packaging sector, statistic is based just on CONAI data, excluding all the fluxes managed by private collectors. Moreover, pre-use recycling is not accounted, leaving out of statistics the scraps coming from the primary productions that are actually sent to recycling; furthermore, while accounting glass recycling, “ceramic sand” reuse and recycling is not included.

Concerning the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments), the year 2010 marked the take-off of their collection and management (even if operating since 2008), reaching 193000 tons in 2009 and confirming the growth in 2010, when it increased to 245000 tons (achieving the European target of 4 kg per capita).
Following the same trend, the amount of treated organic waste, already increased by 400000 tons from 2008 to 2009, has reached 3 million tons in 2010.
The 2011 Edition of the report shows that, even in the presence of a modest and not consolidated economic growth in 2010, the recycling sector saw a quite quick and consistent growth. However, the sector could still have considerable span for development, as shown by the Germany case, proposed in the final part of the report.