The problem of waste management was addressed at the summit Coop28, just concluded in Dubai with a compromise agreement between the oil lords and the West which dreamed of saying goodbye to fossils. To speak for Italy onwaste alarm in Africa it was also A2Aselected by the Ministry of the Environment led by Gilberto Pichetto Fratin to share its experience.
The waste bin, on the African continent, translates into a potential health alarm, given that 90% of waste is sent indiscriminately to landfill or, even worse, abandoned in irregular deposits, with potential damage to the soil and aquifers. Not to mention that every year 11.5 million tons of plastic they are mainly disposed of irregularly at sea, and that 9% of waste is burned outdoors. So much so that the particulate matter in the air exceeds the limits set by the World Health Organization by 20 times.
The numbers emerge from the study “North Africa and the challenge of sustainable waste management: the proposal for an industrial model” prepared by The European House – Ambrosetti in collaboration with the same A2A. And the CEO of him, Renato Mazzoncinitook the floor in Dubai to accompany those present in the Lombardy casewhere thanks to the high rate of separate waste collection, no waste ends up in landfill but everything is recovered in the form of matter or energy.
Mazzoncini underlined how sustainable waste management is a true “strategic challenge” especially in Africa but in general for the entire Mediterranean area and Europe. On the African continent, he continued, “almost all waste is sent to landfill with devastating environmental impacts. The adoption of an efficient industrial model based on the circular economy would improve the quality of life of people and support the sustainable development of these territories. There is a huge plant gap to fill.” Just think that almost a third of the urban waste produced in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Morocco could be used for energy recovery: this would allow obtaining 10 TWh of electricity but above all avoid 23 billion euros of environmental damage and to cut CO2 emissions by 30 million tonnes.
What makes intervention urgent is the population explosion in the area: in 2035 Africa will be inhabited by 1.8 billion people (+32%) destined to then rise to 2.5 billion in 2050 from 2.5 billion. In short, the situation promises to become unsustainable. This is why Italy, which is one of the most advanced countries in Europe for waste management, can lend a hand. Precisely with the experience of A2A: it is not for nothing that separate waste collection (64% at national level) is precisely in Lombardy (73%) and Milan (69%) where it reaches its peak also thanks to the high rate of energy recovery (26% and 31%). In short, a model which, if correctly exported, could start realities such as Algiers, Alexandria in Egypt and Tunis on a virtuous path of circular economy.