The sustainability of the waste management system imposed by EU legislation was assessed using the Italian context as a case study by analysing the period from the year 2007 to the year 2016. An integrated sustainability indicator (ISI) based on environmental, social and economic life cycle approach was used. Since the earlier directives the EU waste management policy was strongly oriented to the implementation of the higher levels of the hierarchy, i.e. preparation for reuse and recycling, and a contemporary ban of disposal activities and in particular of landfill. All this was stated in legal quantitative targets to be achieved within a given scheduled time, demonstrated by continuous implementation of a reliable economic, legal and political framework including, among others, penalties, economic support and extended producer responsibility. Noticeable increase of the amount of waste moved to recycling led to a decrease of main environmental burden due to kgCO2eq and kgPeq. The same activity led to avoided impacts detected for both kgPMeq and human health (DALY). A relevant role related to these benefits was also played by the waste to energy sector. Opposite trend was found for the whole average management costs that change from about 146 €/inhabitant in 2007 to about 218 €/inhabitant in 2016. A general decrease of the ISI of about 10% was also detected indicating an increase of the overall sustainability of the system.

Is the policy of the European Union in waste management sustainable? An assessment of the Italian context

Di Maria F.
Methodology
;
Sisani F.
Software
;
2020

Abstract

The sustainability of the waste management system imposed by EU legislation was assessed using the Italian context as a case study by analysing the period from the year 2007 to the year 2016. An integrated sustainability indicator (ISI) based on environmental, social and economic life cycle approach was used. Since the earlier directives the EU waste management policy was strongly oriented to the implementation of the higher levels of the hierarchy, i.e. preparation for reuse and recycling, and a contemporary ban of disposal activities and in particular of landfill. All this was stated in legal quantitative targets to be achieved within a given scheduled time, demonstrated by continuous implementation of a reliable economic, legal and political framework including, among others, penalties, economic support and extended producer responsibility. Noticeable increase of the amount of waste moved to recycling led to a decrease of main environmental burden due to kgCO2eq and kgPeq. The same activity led to avoided impacts detected for both kgPMeq and human health (DALY). A relevant role related to these benefits was also played by the waste to energy sector. Opposite trend was found for the whole average management costs that change from about 146 €/inhabitant in 2007 to about 218 €/inhabitant in 2016. A general decrease of the ISI of about 10% was also detected indicating an increase of the overall sustainability of the system.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1457867
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