The story of Sardinia - Zero Waste Cities


The story of Sardinia


Who said Zero Waste cannot work in tourist destinations? In 2000, Sardinia was Italy’s worst performing region in waste management with a separate collection rate of 3.8%. Since then the situation radically changed, thanks to the decision of setting up a Regional Programme for organic waste within its Waste Management Plan in 2004. 

The programme included four measures:

  • Compulsory separate collection of organic waste
  • Increase of the landfill tax 
  • A bonus/malus system on the cost of residual waste management based on the municipalities performances 
  • Promotion of door-to-door collection and Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) systems, and home composting

Today, 12 years later, Sardinia it is the best performing island in the Mediterranean and sits at the forefront of Italian and European regions with:

  • Separate collection rate reaching 60% 
  • Waste generation per capita decreased consistently: moving from 520 kg to 443 kg 
  • Residual waste went from 500 kg to 176 kg per inhabitant


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