WREP 2018 improved PVC collection and recycling from Venice construction and demolition projects

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Carlo Ciotti

WREP (Waste REcyling Project) 2018 was a pilot project in Venice, where the city authorities aimed to spur innovative procedures to improve the collection and recyling of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) waste. This pilot, developed jointly by the PVC Forum and VinylPlus, engaged 4 eco-centres, an urban waste collector and 2 companies specialised in demolition and construction waste.

As part of the pilot project, 41 people received weeklong trainings. During this week, collection centre managers and those responsible for managing demolition waste learned how to identify, select and manage PVC materials.

Beginning in September 2018, the project's partners made use of a waste tracing system to: 

  • collect “post-consumer PVC” waste at public eco'centres, separating these materials from bulky waste
  • develop agreements with operators for the selective separation of different PVC products (e.g. fixtures and pipes) directly on-site
  • analyse what is necessary to establish a recycling flow and to define where reuse is possible
  • monitor the phases of demolition
  • send collected PVC for treatment at recycling centres.

Main results

 As of March 2019, the project achieved concrete results after a 6-month trial: 26.85 tonnes of PVC were collected in total, and 11.50 tonnes of hard PVC were sent to a plastic recycling company.

There are plans to roll out the project across northern Italy in 2019 and 2020, with the cooperation of local waste recovery companies. In September 2019, for example, the PVC Forum signed a cooperation agreement to replicate the WREP project around Padua with the public multi-utility that manages the integrated water and waste services in the Brenta river basin.