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So close, yet so far! – Impressions from a study tour

A visit to the Venneto Italian region with 4.8 million inhabitants has provided insight into the most successful examples of responsible waste management based on principles of reducing waste generation, reusing and recycling. Namely, this region is predominant in Italy in responsible waste management and as many as 77% of municipalities (65% of the population) are covered by separate collection of waste by the “door-to-door” system.

There are 200 companies involved in recycling in this Italian region, while only a few in Croatia. In the region, there is also the town of Ponte nelle Alpi with 8,500 inhabitants collecting separately 91,3% of waste and Treviso with 80,000 inhabitants and 85% by separate waste collection … In a few days, a facility opens that will deal with the recycling of waste diapers. All the data indicate that, in this region, they have gone far with the so-called circular economy which was recently mentioned by our politicians, most likely not even knowing what this term actually implies …

After such journeys, we can only wonder why the Italians apply it and we are not in a position to do so? Why are valuable raw materials in the overcrowded Karepovac landfill, misleading the everyday life of a large part of Split? Why is the green waste from Marjan and from Split parks and gardens disposed on Karepovac? And when we think deeper, the question of responsibility is imposed … One of the participants of the study trip, impressed by the way our neighbors relate to waste, found that we behave like drunken rich people in Croatia, while the other added, not rich, only drunk … In the general economic crisis our relationship to valuable raw materials is extremely irresponsible. The justification for the non-existence of the Waste Management Center is just the excuse of those responsible who are not ready to make changes that are legal obligations and the civil right of all citizens of Split and Croatia. The changes that are needed are immediate establishment, regardless of the Center, a separate waste collection system in cities and separate collection of bio-waste and composting.

What the study tour participants already knew, they now had the opportunity to be convinced in the following facts:
• Without the separate collection of waste in households, the quality of raw materials for their processing and recycling cannot be achieved.
• The cost of processing mixed municipal waste and production and then the use of RDF as fuel in incinerators or cement plants is 175 Euros, while the processing price of separately collected bio-waste ranges from 60-80 Euros.
• Waste management with emphasis on separate collection creates new jobs, reduces costs for citizens to service users as waste and waste disposal costs remain the same, while remuneration in the case of mixed municipal waste increases by over 100%
• Composting biotope produces valuable humus, which is then used in agriculture, and so far the experience has shown increased yield on agricultural surfaces using humus compared to conventional crops.
• Collection of waste through street tanks is 70% more expensive than the door-to-door system (example of door-to-door “is the collection of plastic and paper in the city district of Varoš in Split)
• A good system of separate collection of household waste should be based on the collection of waste according to the amount and incentives for citizens who are active in the daily waste reduction efforts (such as lower fees for composting, gift vouchers for parents using multiple diapers, etc.) .).

Members of the Split Environmental Advisory Council, representatives of the City of Split, Utility Company Čistoća d.o.o. participated in the study trip as well as representatives of the non-governmental sector from the Sunce Association, the Marjan Society and the Civic Initiative Karepovac, the Press Point Journalist, the Independent Councilor of the Split-Dalmatia County and the Vice-President of the MO Kamen. The members of the Šibenik-Knin County Environmental Advisory Council also participated in the trip, including the representatives of the City of Knin and the utility company from Knin Čistoća and the Ecological Association Krka Knin, as well as members of the cooperative councils from Nature Parks of Lastovo and Telašćica. Also for the study trip came the representatives of Metković municipal utility company, representative of the City of Trogir and the non-governmental organization Green action from Zagreb.

We also provide a brief overview of the study trip

Visit to the BIOMAN plant in Maniago (Pordenone),;
Organic Waste Treatment Plant (composting and anaerobic digestion)
• Capacity 280,000 tons per year – 6 times larger than Split’s needs
• 200,000 tons of composting, 80,000 tons of anaerobic digestion,
• produce 32GWh of electricity
• Private facility, 12 companies BIOMAN (smaller co-owners of the province of Pordenone and the Venezie company)
• It processes 11-12% of its separate bio-waste in Italy
• Social responsibility – Free of charge of energy for socially beneficial businesses
• 15-18,000 tons (5-7%) can not be used for composting and this part is sent for further separation, disposal or incineration
• Wastewaters are purified by biological-chemical processes (reverse osmosis)
• Biofilters for air (sawdust); purified air returns to the process
• 50 employees in the plant
• Bio-processing is charged at 85 €/ton
• The first houses are 1 km away
• The plant itself saves or reduces pollution by 20160 tonnes of CO2 per year; 44.80 tons of SO2; 60.80 tonnes of NO2

Municipality of Ponte nelle Alpi
• 8,500 inhabitants
• 91.3% separately collected waste
• Communal company, in 2006 – 4.5 employed persons, today 15 people (utility fee remains the same)
• Collecting 2 x week bio-waste, everything else 1x in 15 days
• Different sized containers for different areas (buildings, family houses, dependence on dimensions and collection frequency)
• In 2006, they disposed of 348 tons of waste per capita annually (the average in Croatia) disposing of 28 kg per capita annually
• Principle Reduces:
– Fee for parents who choose to use multiple diapers (at the expense cost of baby diapers, 1 tonne of 180 euros)
– stores with the possibility of recharging detergents, etc.
• The transport cost of collecting from the “door to door” system remained the same with respect to container collection

More information at: (from 1.20 “to 4.00”)

Dolomiti Ambiente – Santa Giustina (Belluno)
Anaerobic digestion is waste
• capacity approx. 28,000 tons/g
• works for 42 municipalities in the vicinity of Belluno
• produces electricity and compost,
• compost is distributed free to farmers in the area
• Bio-processing is charged at 60-80 Euros (lower price for better quality of separately collected bio-waste); 175 Euro for mixed communal waste)
• The first houses are 1-2 km away

More information at:
used technology:

Contarina s.p. – Treviso 13:00 h
Public enterprise serving 554,000 inhabitants, or 260,000 users of services, more than 80% of waste is collected separately!
• Today, 55 kg/person per capita are disposed of
• principle of collection according to the amount of mixed waste
• The waste sorting plant is located in the settlement

More information at:

The study trip is part of the joint Nature and Environment project financed by the European Social Fund.