- Zero Waste Research Center of Capannori
Rossano Ercolini is an Italian teacher and grassroots environmentalist who has actively been involved in waste management for nearly four decades. He is the President of the Zero Waste Research Center of Capannori (Italy) and of Zero Waste Europe more broadly. He is the author of numerous articles on the Zero Waste strategy and author of the book “Non bruciamo il futuro” (2014), and the co-author (with Paul Connett) of the book “Rifiuti Zero: una rivoluzione in corso” (2012). He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2013, in particular for his efforts on informing the public on health and environmental risks of incineration, and for his advocating of zero waste principles.
In 2010, the first Zero Waste Research Centre in Europe was set up in Capannori, a rural town of 46,700 inhabitants near Lucca in Tuscany, taking inspiration from the strategy from European Directive 2008/98/CE on Waste Management. The centre is now helmed by waste experts who identify the types of refuse being discarded and work to devise solutions for waste reduction via biodegradable or recyclable alternatives. Today, about 3.5 million Italian citizens carefully separate their waste into coloured bags before leaving them on their doorsteps for collection. Since 2007, the residents of Capannori have reduced their urban waste by 30 percent. The Capannori municipality has as its main objective zero production of solid wastes by 2020.