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Waste in the various types of treatment


A2A manages waste treatment plants of various kinds:

  • recovery of materials;

  • energy recovery;

  • final disposal.

In 2011 the Group treated two million 800 thousand tonnes of waste, a decrease over 2010 when approximately 3 million tonnes were treated. As shown in the figures on page 66, the portion of recovered waste has risen and the portion sent to the landfill has fallen.
A2A carries out a wide variety of activities for recovering materials from waste. Glass, paper and cardboard, plastic, wood, old tyres and ferrous metals are recovered from the differentiated collection, from bulky waste and from undifferentiated waste. Mud from the biological purification of water is recovered and sent for agricultural use. Inert materials, sand and gravel, certified under UNI standards for use in the building industry, are recovered from the treatment and washing of street cleaning dirt. Compost is produced from the green fraction of differentiated collection.
By using mechanical and biodessication selection processes on undifferentiated urban waste, A2A produces fuel sent to certain of the Group’s waste to energy plants. The residue (solids remaining after the burning of waste coming out of the furnaces) and waste to energy plant ash are treated in recovery and inertisation plants.
A2A also owns and/or manages non-hazardous urban and special waste landfills. Many of the Group’s landfills have reached the end of the waste-filling period and find themselves in the “post-closure” period when waterproofing and the environmental restoration of the surface is carried out, the percolate remaining after use is collected and treated and the biogas produced by the biological decomposition of the waste deposited continues to be captured (and recovered for energy purposes). This period lasts approximately 30 years.

The waste treatment platform at Castenedolo (BS) is extended

The extension of the Castenedolo platform was completed at the end of 2011, taking authorised potential to 150,000 tonnes/year, by means of the following measures:

  • new building for the sizing and selecting of bulky and special waste;

  • new covered areas for storing and depositing materials;

  • a new treatment plan for waste process water, drain and run-off water and the run-off water from the areas where the processing and storing of waste take place.


The production of the dry fraction from waste at the Caivano (NA) site

The aim of the work performed at the Waste Shredding, Sifting and Packaging plant at Caivano is to produce a dry fraction from waste by a mechanical process of shredding and sifting the urban waste entering the plant from the surrounding municipalities.
In 2011 the plant received a total of approximately 172,000 tonnes of urban solid waste for treatment that enabled 124,000 tonnes of shredded and sifted dried fraction to be produced and sent to the Acerra plant for subsequent waste to energy treatment and approximately 40,000 tonnes of wet fraction to be produced and sent to landfill plants, after biostabilisation. The Caivano plant is subject to constant environmental monitoring: in 2011 the ordinary controls envisaged by the Integrated Environmental Authorisation continued, 36 emission monitoring campaigns were carried out, 13 enquiry campaigns into discharges into surface water bodies were performed and 6 analyses of underground water were conducted. The results of these controls have always confirmed full compliance with the plant’s authorisation requirements.

A2A is currently planning to develop additional innovative waste recovery plants, for example for the pre-treatment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment Waste (RAEE).

Electric and electronic equipment pre-treatment plant

On the completion of the authorisation process currently in progress a plant for the pre-treatment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment Waste (RAEE) will be built at Bollate prison. This plant will in part be built by the Ministry of Justice (civil works) and in part by Amsa (electro-mechanical works and management). The operators will all be prisoners (48 when fully operational) except for the plant manager who will be an Amsa employee.
The equipment subject to pre-treatment in the plant will consist of waste arriving from the professional channel, such as computer monitors, laptops, printers, scanners, faxes, telephonic equipment, etc.. The pre-treatment will consist in the total disassembly of the RAEE, with the resulting components mostly being sent to additional specific plants for final recovery, while only a small part (110 tonnes/year or 2.75%) will consist of non-recoverable rejects from processing.
Building work will begin in 2012 and the plant is expected to start up at the end of 2013.