Recycling in Florence

Not so long ago in Florence, you took your trash to big containers somewhere near your home or apartment. If neither of these were nearby, you simply tied the trash bag as tightly as you could and left it outside the door, where the collectors who routinely drove through the neighborhood would pick it up.

There isn’t anything like the big trucks that drive through the major metropolitan areas of this country to collect the trash and now some recyclables. In Florence the streets were never designed for trucks or for cars either.

It depresses me every time I realize what the cities of America were designed for.

However, throughout Florence now you begin to see these nifty recycling/trash collection containers. There are three types--one for organic materials, one for non-recyclables and one for recyclables.

A set of these containers is located just across the Arno from my apartment. A short walk across the Ponte Alle Grazie and I am there.

Florence is said to have the highest rate of recycling of any Italian city.

According to former mayor, now Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi: In Florence the cost of waste disposal is among the lowest in Italy; separate trash collection and separation has reached 47%, which becomes 65% with the new underground containers around the city and a massive 78% with the new San Jacopino ecological stations.


crofter said...

As in the case with many European ideas, Americans could learn from something such as this. With few exceptions, this model is way ahead of the vast majority of US states.

Richard Katzev said...

I fully agree. And how slow Americans are to learn. It usually takes a catastrophe of one form or another. Or we find ourselves at the brink of one. This seems especially true of recent times.

Stefanie said...

It's very cool but you know if Americans had to walk even half a block to put their recycling in a special bin most of them wouldn't. Sad, but true.

Richard Katzev said...

Well, I am one American who uses them while here. I take my trash and the numerous plastic bottles to these bins. Of course, they are on the way to the park I go for a picnic, so it is easy. There are so many ways of recycling or not recycling in the US, depending on where you live and in what kind of a building. The situation, especially proximity, as is often the case, determines the behavior that will or will not occur.