The surplus waste market in Italy is quickly becoming important for several European countries, especially during the Covid-19 epidemic.
Resource management company Geminor recently opened an Italian office to meet the growing European demands for energy recovery and material recycling. The office is situated in the Northern Italian city of Bolzano – or Bozen in German.
Senior Account & Development Manager at Geminor, Michele Benvenuti, will lead the Italian office. Benvenuti, which started his career in the IT industry and later moved into windmill export, has a total of 15 years of experience from the Italian waste market. Benvenuti has built numerous projects exporting various fractions of Italian waste – both hazardous and non-hazardous – for recovery or disposal in Europe.
The Italian market has for a long time been an exporting market, Benvenuti explains: “Italy has an annual production of 135 million tonnes of industrial waste, from which 10 million is hazardous waste. The household waste volume is about 30 million tonnes, or approximately 500 kg per citizen. With only 40 incineration plants in Italy, the national capacity is low, making a substantial part of the waste go to landfill or export. In this way Italy is quite similar to the English waste market. At the same time, the recycling rate in Italy is improving, and the current recycling of plastic is one of the most developed in Europe.”
SRF is high priority
The Italian market can offer many different waste fractions. Geminor will from the start focus on three waste streams in Italy. “Initially, we plan to export waste both for energy recovery and material recycling. High-calorific SRF for cement plants, particularly in the Mediterranean area, will be a priority – in addition to waste wood both for energy recovery and panel board production. We will also offer services in relation to securing hazardous waste such as PFAS and PFOS contaminated soil, which is an environmental challenge in Italy, says the Geminor country manager. “At present, the import markets from Italy mainly constitutes Germany, Spain, France, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. We are now testing out different transport and logistical routes, working to find the most sustainable and efficient solutions possible. This means preparing for more sea and rail transport.”
Corona affects the market
The Covid-19 is currently affecting the European waste market, and the reduction of waste export from the UK is turning into one of the biggest challenges this spring. The current situation makes Italy more important than ever, says Cheif Operating Officer at Geminor, Ralf Schöpwinkel. “To find good solutions to waste supply and logistical issues is a dynamic and ongoing process in Europe. The more functioning and recognized markets we have available in Europe, the easier we find our way out of difficult times such as the Covid-19 crisis. Our new Italian office is not opening as a result of Corona, but due to a longstanding need, and will be very helpful in securing waste supplies in a very demanding European market,” concludes Ralf Schöpwinkel at Geminor.
In addition to Italy, Geminor now has offices and logistic HUBs in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the UK, Germany, France and Poland.