Urban Cleanliness

Even when there are lots of tourists e.g. Trieste, Italy

Dipl.-Ing.(TU) Werner P. Bauer

Back in the office, shortly after vacation, I am confronted again with a message from the Basel Action Network (BAN):

"EU continues to flood Turkey with plastic waste.
EU exported 35 million kg/month in June 2023 to Turkey. This is equal to 219 trucks of plastic waste per day."

Why is this happening when we know that Turkey still has much to do even in terms of good waste management?

BAN's Key Message is: "The UK and EU countries, who are shutting down domestic plastic recycling operations due to high energy costs and weak demand for recycled plastics, are significantly increasing plastic waste exports to non-OECD Asian countries and Turkey. OECD countries promoting the "circular economy of plastics” myth are the largest plastic waste exporters, proving it to be a false concept as they cannot manage their own plastic waste.”

So, there is still a lot of work to be done. Going back a few days and thinking about my vacation, however, I would like to place a good news next to this bad news.

In the last 14 days I had - accompanied by a dear person - the opportunity to visit several Italian cities. We were in Trieste, Padua, Fiesole, Florence, Modena ...

My key message is: It was incredible how clean the cities were. Despite the huge number of tourists, the public garbage bins were never overflowing. There were never bottles lying next to them and the larger trash and recycling garbage cans were always clean. For this reason, I would like to express my special respect to the many people in charge in the Italian cities. These observations are also valid for holidays and at temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius.

Here are the photos ...
I wondered how the Italians manage to achieve this high level of urban cleanliness and realized how often and how naturally people in Italy drink their coffee standing up at the bar.

Here are the photos ...

Through its coffee culture alone, Italy is significantly reducing the amount of plastic waste.

Where in Germany 2.8 billion (trillion) disposable cups (40% of which are pure plastic) and 1.3 billion plastic lids are consumed annually, in Italy caffè al bar, coffee at the bar, is considered part of Italian culture.

Remember your last cappuccino at the bar, the sounds, the smells and decide for yourself!
Werner Bauer
P.S.: Unfortunately, there are also disposable cups in Italy. A tourist insisted on one, drank the coffee at the bar - in my opinion, silently - and then returned the cup. I was speechless.

In addition, pictures from Hedwig Vielreicher: 


As I stated in my presentation at the WtERT-Italy meeting in Piacenza on June 5, Milan sends all its post-recycling MSW to WTE power plants. In contrast, Rome, the "eternal city" sends all its post-recycling MSW to landfills.Yet both cities spend nearly the same euros per citizen for waste collection and management.
13.09.2023 09:11:11

I totally agree with Werner that Italian cities are really clean. We stayed in Murano for a week. Every morning the rubbish was several times collected from the doorsteps and window sills by pushcart and then loaded to a ship for further transport.
12.09.2023 06:37:04

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