The results of the WREP/ETRA Spa collaboration are positive

The WREP (Waste From Demolition Collection of Recycling Pilot Scheme) project, promoted by PVC Forum Italia and VinylPlus, aims to detect, intercept and recycle PVC waste from municipal waste, bulky waste, and special waste from construction and demolition activities. In 2019 the WREP project was extended to the territory served by ETRA Spa, which includes the Brenta basin, from the Asiago Plateau to bassanese and the Province of Padua. The collaboration agreement between ETRA and WREP included a pilot project that developed in the time period between June 2019 and June 2020, extended for good results, by mutual agreement, until November 2020 and divided into four phases: planning of joint activities; training of ETRA’s internal operators; interception and collection of PVC at the end of its life to make it available for recycling; collection and processing of all available data to evaluate the advantages and critical points to be improved in future subsequent trials. The operational phase took place between October 2019 and November 2020, covering the 70 municipalities that entrust ETRA spa with the integrated cycle of their waste, municipalities with 563,167 inhabitants and 44 collection centers in total. The actual amount of PVC waste (CER 191204) selected, pressed and packed that ETRA sent to the recycling plant throughout the project was 119.94 ton, of which 114.08 ton came from bulky and special PVC waste, which corresponds to 1.90% of the total waste delivered. The waste received from the recycling plant was fully processed, recovering 115 ton which was transformed into PVC granules, or 95.11%. From an economic point of view, the operational testing phase found a positive balance of €18,201, which means that the management of PVC waste according to the WREP model generated savings of 57 % compared to starting to dispose of the same amount of waste. From an environmental point of view, the management of the waste and subsequent recycling of PVC throughout the operational experimentation phase has made it possible to avoid the emission into the atmosphere of about 696 ton of CO2 compared to its disposal and production of the same amount of PVC recovered from virgin raw material. One of the essential elements to the success of the pilot project concerns the training of operators of the plants involved in the experiment, which provided the tools to recognize, separate and select PVC elements aiming at the quantity, but above all at the quality of the material collected. The training, carried out both in the classroom and “in the field” by qualified teachers of PVC Forum Italia, involved 13 ETRA operators of the Collection Centers and the Selection Plant and 9 operators of the external companies used in the Selection Plant. Thanks to the collaboration with ETRA, the WREP 2019 project has become part of the European Project Circe 2020, supported by the Interreg CENTRAL Programme EUROPE and funded under the European Regional Found of Delopment with the aim of expanding the concept of circular economy in the production districts of Central Europe.