An overflowing waste bin near the Colosseum, Source: Depositphotos

Rome to have a waste-to-energy plant in 2026

Rome to have a waste-to-energy plant in 2026

Some silver lining to the eternal waste management issues plaguing the Eternal City

Yesterday, Rome’s mayor Roberto Gualtieri signed an ordinance launching an official expression of interest to the private sector for the construction of a waste-to-energy plant. This is meant to finally set a roadmap for the Italian capital in its quest to find a valuableand autonomous way to treat its own waste without having to rely on other regions.

The move also means circumventing the need to create a new 1-million-ton landfill site or the creation of more rubbish dumps. The mayor, as quoted by Wanted in Rome, said the plant would be built according to the "latest generation technology" to protect the environment and that "it will be financed entirely by whoever wins the tender."

It won’t cost the city any money either

The expression of interest concerns the design, authorization for operation, construction and management of a waste-to-energy plant and "ancillary" plants (satellite plants), responsible for managing the residual ash from heat treatment. In terms of capacity, it will handle 600,000 tons of unsorted waste.

The beneficiary will also have other tasks: mitigate carbon dioxide emissions (capture of CO2), and optimize the distribution of recovered energy vectors (production and distribution of the thermal energy produced). The proposals must contain a feasibility project, a draft agreement, the economic-financial plan and the specification of the characteristics of the service and management methods.

The receipt of proposals will take place over the next three months. The one considered best will be chosen, based on criteria that 80% will take into account the technical aspect and the remaining 20% ​​the economic aspect.

The industrial area of ​​Santa Palomba (in the south of Rome) will be the place where the waste-to-energy plant will be built, which will handle 600,000 tons of unsorted waste. More than 90% of bottom and fly ash produced by the plant will be recovered and, as an inert material, destined for roadbeds and building uses. 

The construction of service landfills is not envisaged and the implementation of the plan will make it possible to achieve the "zero landfill" objective. The construction of the energy-producing incinerator should set start in the summer of 2024 and be finalized in 2026.



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