MILAN – 91% of Italians regularly separate their waste, whilst 48% believe that waste management and separate waste collection are priorities within local authorities' environmental issues. These are the findings of a Lorien Consulting study, carried out for Conai, on the relationship between people, the environment, and local authorities. Waste collection services were given the green light, with 57% of those interviewed describing them as satisfactory. Areas of improvement identified by respondents included greater qualitative control over waste collected and an increase in the frequency and distribution of the services.
Prioritisation of issues
Proper waste management is believed to be key compared to other big issues, such as the promotion of renewable energy, which was specified by 42% of respondents, with transport at 39% and landscape conservation and hydrogeological safeguarding at 32%. It is interesting to note that the prioritisation of the issue of local waste collection does not correlate with widespread dissatisfaction with existing waste collection services. In fact, 57% have a positive opinion of the waste collection services within their own municipality, with particularly high levels of satisfaction in the north-west (77%) and the north-east (67%) of Italy, as well as amongst the over-55 population, with 68% endorsing their existing services.
Improvement of waste collection services
The indicated areas for improvement for existing collection services include the demand for greater control over the quality of the waste collected in terms of separate waste collection, along with more penalties (40%) and a higher frequency (35%) and distribution (34%) of the service. Monitoring and penalties were primarily demanded by older respondents (50%) and by those who live in north-west Italy (48%), whilst the distribution of the service was mostly a priority for those who live in southern Italy (46%).
Role of local authorities
In general, Italians view local authorities as the most effective government bodies for protecting the environment (55%), which is roughly double the view held on national institutions (32%) and European institutions (26%) with regards to the same issue. Amongst the sample interviewed, however, it is the actions of individual people that are considered to be the most influential factor, as indicated by 74% of respondents. On a national level, 30% of respondents believe that environmental and land management issues are important parts of local authorities’ agendas. Particular attention was paid to these issues in central and southern Italy, behind other issues that are considered to be even more urgent, such as maintenance and infrastructure (46%), security, services and policies for young people (34%).
by editorial staff