MATER-BI and separate collection in Milan, Italy
Milan is Italy’s 2nd largest city. The municipality alone, excluding the larger metropolitan area, has 1.34 million inhabitants, with a population density above 7.000 inhabitants per square kilometre, and more than 80% of the households located in high rise - multi-family buildings.
One of the strengths of the Milan waste management system is the collection of organic waste. In November of 2012, Milan introduced a door-to-door organic waste collection system with MATER-BI bags. By June of 2014, the program reached 100% citywide participation.
In 2012, only 36.7% of organic waste was collected. In May of 2014, this percentage increased to 50%. This percentage is a record in Europe for cities with more than one million residents. The success of this system has made the Italian model in Milan an ideal case study for international cities to emulate.
The use of MATER-BI bags by dedicated citizens has been crucial to the success of separate organic waste collection in Milan. NOVAMONT provided the bags to AMSA (the Milanese environmental services company) who manages the city’s waste collection. AMSA gave each resident of Milan (and ten surrounding municipalities) a starter kit with 25 bags for free. This represented more than one million donated bags.
In addition, NOVAMONT supported AMSA and Milan with information outreach campaigns aimed at encouraging consumers to use their compostable grocery bags to collect organic waste at home.