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From waste to resources: Genoa looks ahead to a circular economy

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City of Genoa

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Type of funding:

Comune di Genova - Alessandra Risso

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AMIU, Genoa's municipal waste management company, has completely rethought its strategy and organisational structure. The public utility now looks beyond its 40-year linear business model based on the disposal of waste in its landfill site and adopted a new business model in 2014 that is based on value and material recovery. This approach aimed to boost waste recycling rates and included a new collection plan titled ‘From waste to resources’, developed in partnerships with stakeholders, citizens, AMIU employees and the local community.

Due to the complex morphology of its old town, Genoa faced difficulties in implementing the new collection plan. One of the main challenges was to shape the mindsets of citizens to encourage them to recycle. Furthermore, the increase in the municipal waste tax, due to high investments in the collection plan, also required further communication to ensure buy-in. Finally, changing AMIU’s internal culture and organisation to adapt it to the new waste management practices also proved to be a challenge.

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Main results: 
  • An advertising campaign ‘From waste to resources’ was developed to raise citizen awareness.
  • A mobile application was developed to help residents correctly separate waste.
  • LiguriaCircular was created as a permanent exchange platform. It promotes a culture of sustainable development through events and dissemination. This project is part of Genoa’s smart city strategy and counts over 200 members including public bodies, companies, universities, research centres, professional associations and more.
  • Genoa is currently also upgrading the separation plants to support more recyclable materials. It is also providing a training programme to its employees to master the new process.
  • Genoa is also collaborating in trans-European circular economy projects.