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

Further questions?

Contact us if you want more information on the case study


Other Best Practices

Learn from the frontrunners how a city can move towards zero waste


The story of Calatafimi Segesta


Calatafimi Segesta may be small, but it provides one of Europe’s leading examples of how an island municipality can implement an effective zero waste strategy whilst also focusing on improving the lives of the local community.



Separate collection



Separate collection

The story of Tübingen


The German city of Tübingen took the pioneering steps of introducing a city wide tax on single-use plastic items, which formed just one part of a wider strategy to foster reuse within the city.


Introduction of tax on some single-use items



decrease of waste in public spaces


Supported by the LIFE Programme of the European Union. This website does not necessarily reflect the views of the donors.