Syracuse has 123,248 inhabitants and is the capital of the Province. This area of Sicily tells more than three millennia of civilization history and presents an extraordinarily multi-cultural heritage. The architecture combines the styles of different periods (Greek, Roman and Baroque). The city of Syracuse, founded in the fifth century. B.C. became the capital of Magna Grecia, declared by Cicero as the largest and most beautiful of all Greek cities, has been the centre of a cultural movement also rich in traditions, gastronomy and folklore. Here lived many famous people: first of all the great genius Archimedes, but also the writer Elio Vittorini, the archaeologist Paolo Orsi, the poet August von Platen, and many others. The city is spread in part on the Ortigia Island and partly on the mainland, the entire area is situated within the island of Sicily, just because of his geographical peculiarities, Syracuse is often appealed as “island within an island.” Characterized by considerable historical, architectural and landscape, the city of Syracuse was declared by UNESCO in 2005, in conjunction with the Rock Necropolis of Pantalica, heritage of humanity.
Reflection on the tourism in the pilot
The Municipality of Syracuse is visited by more than 1.300.000 tourists every year for its sunny beaches, historic sightseeing and ancient spirit of the town. Cradle of Greek culture and registering the highest number of natural reserves of Sicily, Syracuse becomes more and more popular for cultural, bathing and environmental tourism. The city offers a variety of opportunity both for young and old people and registered mostly the presence of group of visitors. The highest touristic period is from June to September, but due to the moderate temperature, we can consider a good period also April – May and October – November.
Furthermore Syracuse represents one of the best examples of tourist city accessible for travellers with special needs, thanks to the collaboration of the association “Sicily Tourism for All” with all the south-eastern Sicily. Syracuse takes care of the needs of all tourists and goes through a tourist and cultural project that identifies the city as a reality open, inclusive and able to guarantee a quality offer “for all.”
Current waste management practices
The aim of the Municipality of Syracuse is to promote the Zero Waste strategy in the city and improve the solutions and policies for effective sustainable urban development and reduction of negative environmental impacts (e.g. health) in urban areas. The choice of the Municipality of Syracuse for the waste management system is the “door to door” collection to extend in the entire city. To obtain high levels in terms of collection, and at the same time to optimize the costs of the system, it was necessary to restructure the organization of the collection, starting from the extension of the residential collection of paper, plastic and food waste. The citizens’ participation is very important to avoid/minimize the inconveniences for the implementation of new services and models and will be the primary tool to build agreements and to overcome old and new oversights. Participation is a key challenge to build a Sustainable Syracuse, a city that makes choices for its liveability (reduction of environmental pollution and noise with policies for health and the promotion of healthy lifestyles) and for minimizing the environmental impact of all its activities (domestic, commercial, craft, tourism etc.) and pointing to the quality of the space and territory, which promotes an integrated view of all policies and urban mobility waste management. Syracuse promotes economic innovation, social inclusion and environmental sustainability, and also promotes innovation in the protection and enhancement of environmental and cultural heritage. The municipality encourages research in the field of renewable energy, supports the active sharing of choices to promote the systems approach to global challenges and connects and integrates infrastructure and urban services through the development of smart solutions based on ICT (information and communication technologies).
Impact of tourism on waste management
The impact of tourism on waste management in Syracuse is generated by the numerous catering activities and shops born in the last years with the increase of tourism. The tourist expansion generates a strong impact on urban mobility and it lacks support for local SMEs. The main problem is the increase in the quantity of waste produced especially in the summer. Municipality of Syracuse wants to enhance communication activities on the practices of existing local waste management. URBAN-WASTE project represent for Syracuse a valuable guidance to guarantee the continuous improvement of waste management in the city centre and to replicate the strategy adopted in the rest of the city.