The story of Parma - Zero Waste Cities


The story of Parma


Parma is located in Emilia Romagna, the top waste producer among Italian regions, with 636 kg of waste per capita in 2014. With its 190,284 inhabitants, Parma was not in a better situation than the rest of the region: separate collection had stagnated around 45% for years and waste generation was significantly high. This led the Province to propose the construction of an incinerator in 2012. However, thanks to social mobilisation, the need for a new model of waste management became a central element during the local council elections who removed the pro-incineration mayor and elected a new one that was committed to start a journey towards Zero Waste.

Two main measures were taken:

  • The introduction of door-to-door separate collection system 
  • The introduction of a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) scheme

In only 4 years, Parma became a vivid example of transition from traditional waste management to Zero Waste, achieving significant results:

  • Total waste generation reduced by 15% 
  • Separate collection went from 48.5% to 72% in 4 years
  • Residual waste rate decreased by 59%
  • Reduction in the overall annual costs 
  • Increase in the number of jobs connected to waste management

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