Quadrifoglio, the waste operator for the city of Florence, and Giuseppe Ponzini on its behalf presented Florence’s waste management practices and operations related to waste deposits during a thematic seminar in Porto, on 9 March.
This thematic seminar was a organised within the INTHERWASTE project framework, a project funded by the Interreg programme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund. The INTHERWASTE project aims for European Heritage Cities to exchange experiences and policies for efficient and sustainable waste management in urban contexts in order to contribute, through mutual capacity building, policy learning and drafting of action plans – to the environmental performance management of waste in EU cities. The project bring together 5 UNESCO cities, such as Tallinn, Cordoba, Krakow, Porto and Syracuse. Quadrifolglio was invited to this thematic seminar as an external expert on behalf of Florence, as a non partner city in order to diversify and present practices and good examples from other UNESCO cities.
The thematic seminar on waste deposits referred to discharging waste; namely accessibility of waste disposal points, selective disposal and underground containers. The specificity of this topic was to explore how these processes can take place feasibly and efficiently in heritage areas, with the complexity these areas feature: protected buildings, special permissions for interventions, necessity of specific aesthetics, significant flows of tourists producing significant volumes of waste and much more. The seminar also included a cluster on special arrangements with other authorities, such as UNESCO offices, archaeology authorities and other stakeholders in heritage areas.
Giuseppe Ponzini presented Florence’s transition from street wheel containers, located above ground and affecting the overall image and aesthetic appearance of Florence’s UNESCO heritage area to a set of underground containers, strategically distributed across the area. These underground containers include a set of disposal points for different waste streams While at the very moment the number of such location is 42, already replacing 400 of old mobile bins the overall goal is to replace them all by 2020. This requires a rate of 10 new underground containers per year. Overall results and contribution to sustainable waste management practices are already astonishing – 56% of separately collected waste is achieved in the UNESCO heritage area, while the rate of separately collected waste in the wider area is even higher, 79%.
Furthermore, Giuseppe Ponzini presented another, rather unique and specific practice in terms of cooperation with other authorities. Having in mind Florence’s rich history, what Quadrifoglio faces very often are discoveries of antique and historical treasures during the excavations and building of underground containers. However, the collaboration between the Archaeological Authority and Quadrifoglio, instead of being an obstacle to the execution of the works, seems as a unique opportunity to enrich the knowledge of the history of the city.
URBAN-WASTE was also presented to the INTHERWASTE project partners during the open space session and individually to each city, which being UNESCO heritage cities attract large numbers of tourists every year. This collaboration between the two projects will be enriched by a visit and a guest speaker at URBAN-WASTE’s next Mutual Learning event in Santander on March 16 when Pedro Rodrigues will present Porto’s ICT solutions tot he URBAN-WASTE project partners and participate in the panel discussion.