From separate collection to selected collection

What changes between one recycling it's a selected collection some waste? It changes that in the selected collection there is a more effective selection at source made by those who produce the waste, that is, by people-citizens. This lowers the amount of unsorted waste to be sorted in any dedicated facilities (when it does not end up in landfills) making the entire collection-sorting process (selected collection) overall more efficient and less expensive.

Enabling factor of the transition from a classic recycling the good will of citizens and those who manage the collection, combined with the establishment of a good level of collaboration between the parties, is the result of an efficient, selected collection of waste. The critical factor for success is the availability of good projects, adequate and sufficient resources and tools, without which, alas, good will is not enough.

The transition from a recycling a selected collection of waste is one of the key points of the project Life EMaRES led by the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Perugia with EU funding. Objective of the initiative: to bridge the gap that separates Italy from the most virtuous countries in waste management, and to create jobs in the industrial recycling chain.

The complicated acronym EMaRES stands for 'Enhanced Material Recovery and Environmental Sutastainability for small scale waste management systems' and essentially consists in the research and implementation of innovative waste management practices.

Starting by experimenting with some of these practices, including the transition from recycling to the selected collection but not only. The other two cornerstones of the project are the mechanical treatment of multi-material collection with innovative technologies (as well as the undifferentiated residual portion of separate collection) and the anaerobic-aerobic biological treatment of the organic fraction. For the selected collection, the 'Ricimobile', A vehicle equipped for the mobile collection of small WEEE, exhausted batteries and used cooking oil.

Life EMaRES test bench has been the Integrated Territorial Area n.2 of Umbria since March 2014 (Perugia and Municipalities of the Trasimeno Lake area) with the prospect of making the model a virtuous example also for other Italian territorial realities, primarily those characterized by similar problems of waste management in contexts of high environmental quality.

The presentation readable on the site dedicated to Life EMaRES is interesting, all based on the concept of entropy recalled by the third law of thermodynamics. The main obstacle to increasing the amount of recyclable materials is the level of entropy, that is, of disorder, with which the waste is collected. Reduce entropy in the 'waste system' with the transition from recycling to the selected collection, mechanical treatment and biological treatment, is the way to better waste management.

Read also the article The problem of waste management

The Life EMaRES project

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