Monte San Pietro is a small town in the Metropolitan City of Bologna, located in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna about 12 kilometers southwest of Bologna (Italy). It is characterized by a vast territory covering a total of 74.7 km2 and a total population of 10,972. ENEA interviewed Barbara Fabbri, Italian Councilor of Monte San Pietro Municipality for the Environment, Sustainable Development, Agriculture, Peace and International Solidarity, Mining Activities to bring the overview of their local experience of promotion of sustainability policies on waste prevention and water saving projects.
Monte San Pietro is not only characterized by numerous active initiatives related to sustainable lifestyles, new agrifood production models, reduction of ecological footprint and fighting climate emergency. At the policy level, the municipality is following several planning documents, including the SECAP – Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan, the PUMS – Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, and the Covenant of Mayors “A Commitment to Sustainable Energy”. Moreover, the town is committed to circular economy and adhered to the international Zero Waste strategy.
Barbara Fabbri highlighted few activities and projects with significant impact on rising the level of circular economy
Since 2007, a door-to-door (D2D) waste collection service has been launched. D2D collection method relies on citizens placing household waste close to the street in private waste containers, allowing for the maximization of waste segregation and sorting and reducing the amount of waste in landfills. This system requires the active participation of all participants; therefore, the Municipality organized several meetings with citizens to raise their awareness of the importance of a proper waste separation.
Moreover, since 2018, a “pay-as-you-throw” (PAYT) schemes have been introduced measuring the quantity of unsorted waste, following the “polluter pays” European principle. As a result, separated waste collection has reached a percentage close to 90%, reducing the quantity of unsorted waste below 75 kg per capita. These virtuous results have led to recognitions from Legambiente as Recycling Municipality and from Sprecozero.net (Italian Zero Waste association).
Further actions were realized also in the framework of Eco-Sustainable Monte San Pietro project, such as: free distribution of around 800 composters to families, washable nappies in municipal nurseries, washable dishes in the school canteen, water bottles distribution to students, reuse markets, Repair café promotion in collaboration with the social cooperative Il Martin Pescatore and the experimentation of a community composter, named Composharing. This consists of a pruning materials home-shredding tested to obtain wood chips: the shredded material is left on-site and used to improve soil quality in composting or as mulch in hedges, gardens, etc.
Water saving is also a very relevant topic in Monte San Pietro. Several educational programs with primary schools were carried out focusing on water conservation (i.e. projects SAVE THE DROP and WATER IS LIFE). During the 2023, a participatory process was also launched on the topics of water reuse and climate change adaptation, which included a questionnaire for citizens and meetings with the population.
Finally, Barbara Fabbri concluded the interview saying: “Circular economy is a great challenge for our future that can be better only thanks to the commitment of everyone”.