The story of Capannori - Zero Waste Cities


The story of Capannori


Located in the North of Italy, Capannori (46,700 inhabitants) is the first town in Europe which declared the Zero Waste goal in 2007. Led by a primary school teacher, Rossano Ercolini (President of Zero Waste Europe), a small but determined movement stopped the construction of an incinerator and convinced the municipality to commit to sending zero waste to landfill by 2020. Transparency and public consultations with residents were the keys of the successful strategies:

  • Creation of a door-to-door collection system
  • Introduction of a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) fee
  • Trainings for the community and strong engagement of the residents
  • Creation of the first Zero Waste Research Centre in Europe in 2011.
  • Opening of a Reuse Centre where items such as clothes, footwear, toys, and furniture can be repaired and sold to those in need, thereby diverting them from landfill and serving a vital social function

In almost 10 years:

  • 40% of waste reduction (average waste went from 1,92kg to 1,18 kg/person/year)
  • Separate collection rate to 82% 
  • Residual waste per capita reduced by 57%
  • Waste tariffs for residents have been reduced by 20% 
  • 93 tonnes of items were dropped at the Reuse Centre 
  • Capannori became an international example. Inspired by its success, today nearly 400 European municipalities are walking the path towards Zero Waste

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