Cities & Communities

Florence Zero Waste Altermeeting: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and REDESIGN


24 Sep 2012

Written by

Joan Marc Simon


The inclusion of the 4 R to the group of the old “big 3” is one of the main conclusions of the Zero Waste Altermeeting that took place in Florence from 15 to 17 of September.

Indeed, more than 60 speakers of the highest level (including academia, researchers, policy-makers, businesses and activists) agreed that instead of using the best minds to design machines to destroy resources such as incinerators and landfills our efforts should go to Redesign the way our economy works in a way that it is possible to Reduce the size of our waste-bin, Reuse as much as possible and Recycle what is left. The R to Redesign waste out of the system was one of the stars of the gathering.

The conference served to present a big number of Zero Waste projects and local solutions to Redesign, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle waste. For instance Claudio Germans CEO of DISMECO explained how in his company they manage to recover up to 98% of the materials in used washing machines and how that has created 30 new jobs. In the services sector the organisation of Zero Waste Hotels in the Island of Capri presented how they have practically phased out waste from their hotels. Also, a number of virtuous municipalities such as Capannori and Monterspertoli presented their successful collection systems. Right now only in Italy 91 municipalities (representing 2,5 million people) have adhered to the Zero Waste goal!

Besides Italy, on Monday there were a number of international speakers explaining interesting experiences from around the world. The meeting was a success with the participation of hundreds of people from several different backgrounds and geographical origins during the 3 days of the conference. The message to the city of Florence and to the region of Tuscany was clear: your region is one of the pioneers in Zero Waste in the world with Capannori as first European town to declare the goal of Zero Waste for 2020, follow the example and lead the road to a world without waste No-burn, no-bury there is a better way!

For a more in depth report in Italian click here