The “end of waste” and the by-product qualification constitute two of the main obstacles towards moving to a circular economy model. Italy still lacks clear End-of-Waste Criteria legislation that would help establishing a market for a wide range of secondary raw materials.

The country also lacks assured uniform application of national by-product regulations, which would encourage symbiotic industrial practices, better management and waste reduction. These turn out to be major impediments to truly encouraging the circular economy in Italy. For years, Italian companies have been waiting for sectorial End-of-Waste criteria, as well as for construction and demolition wastes, and are meanwhile using ad hoc standards.

The new Italian Law no. 128/2019 provides that, in the absence of specific criteria adopted through the usual ministerial regulations, local authorities have the power to authorize procedure on a case by case basis.  

However, there are still many critical issues highlighted and represented by companies in the construction sector and are also welcomed by policy makers, concerning in particular the control methods (moved to an ex-post and sample phase) and the excessive bureaucratic process.

In order to further discuss and provide solutions to these perilous issues, ENEA organized, within the international fair ECOMED 2020 which took place in Catania from 16th to 18th of July 2020, a thematic workshop inviting the main institutions involved in these procedures, such the Ministry of Environment and the Italian Institute for the Environmental Protection (ISPRA), research institutions, the Universities of Catania and Messina, lawyers and companies.