About the speaker
Capannori, a town of 46,700 inhabitants near Lucca in Tuscany, was set to be just another step in the relentless march of waste incineration in Italy. In 1997, primary schoolteacher Rossano Ercolini recognised the potentially damaging effects the planned local incinerator would have on the health of residents and on the surrounding landscape. Ercolini managed to persuade the town council of Capannori to be the first in Europe to sign up to the Zero Waste strategy in 2007, committing to sending zero waste to landfill by 2020. Door-to door collection was introduced in stages across the municipality between 2005 and 2010, starting with small villages, where any mistakes could be identified and corrected early on, then extended to cover the entire municipal area in 2010. By that time, 82% of municipal waste was separated at source, leaving just 18% of residual waste to go to landfill.
More information: The story of Capannori