DIFE
Via Vecchia Provinciale Lucchese, 53 Serravalle Pistoiese, Italia 51034
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Cultura del riciclo

Circular Economy, that is, the virtuous cycle of wastes

The Tuttingioco park is a marvelous example of Circular Economy. Located in Rispescia within the “Il Girasole” Sustainable Development Center, it was built thanks to Ecopneus with recycled rubber materials from Tires out of use. To enrich the area, a colored anti-trauma flooring made of PFU rubber, supplied free of charge by DIFE and Tritogom.

Redazione DIFE Magazine

6 Mar 2018 5 min di lettura

A perfectly circular economic system able to regenerate itself.
Nothing is waste:

in fact, the flows of biological material can be reintegrated in the biosphere, the technical ones can be revalorised without entering the biosphere.

This is authoritatively stated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, financed by the famous yachtswoman from which it is named after and supported by the largest giants of the industrial world, one of the most active realities in the promotion of the development model called Circular Economy.

The economic system used for centuries – called linear economy – is based on the extraction of more and more new raw materials without regards for the same, on the unshared use and production of scrap (not adequately valorised) once reached the end of the product life-cycle.

The model of circular economy is based on three “Rs”:

  • Reduce the impact of wastes on the environment, differentiating them correctly;
  • Recycle to give new life to scraps;
  • Reuse to maximise the duration of the product’s life-cycle.

To improve the conditions of our planet, severely affected by environmental problems that seriously threaten the ecosystem, and the lives of its inhabitants, it is fundamental that everyone contributes to the correct operation of the recycling cycle.

If we think of the wastes life-cycle as a chain, it is the producer of the waste (individual or company) that, differentiating correctly, allows the introduction  of  the material in the  industrial cycle and starts the process; the wastes are then collected and transported to the proper plants, where  the selection starts, both mechanically and manually,  followed by the division by typology; the last link of the chain is the transformation company where the wastes come to new life and the cycle ends.

In this process – with the conjunction role between the production phase and successive transformation one – is inserted the waste management company, the real promoter of the actual recycling; a central and very important role that triggers the virtuous cycle that protects the environment.

In Italy the industrial wastes are more than four times greater than the urban solid ones generated by individuals. These are the so-called special wastes of industries and companies, that are differentiated in hazardous and non-hazardous.

With over 150,000 tons of wastes managed every year, DIFE takes care of all the intermediate phases of the service between waste producer and final transformation company, contributing considerably and avoiding the waste of material: from the delivery of the necessary equipment, to the collection, transport, selection, and treatment in its plants.

DIFE embraces and applies the principles of Circular Economy and strongly believes in the valorisation of our planet’s resources, topics for which it promotes awareness-raising participating, for two years now,  in Festambiente, the international festival of Legambiente.

In 2016, in collaboration with Ecopneus – the End-of-Life Tyres (ELTs) tracing, collection, treatment, and recovery  company, the most modern, efficient and state-of-the-art in Italy – has given its contribution supplying free of charge part of the coloured anti-shock flooring realised with recycled rubber from ELTs, frame of the Tuttingioco park composed of  “inclusive”  structures for ludic parks for normally intelligent children and ones with different abilities, located inside the Centro Nazionale per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (National Centre for Sustainable Development) of Legambiente “Il Girasole” in Rispescia (GR).

Il parco Tuttingioco a Rispescia (GR)
Tuttingioco Park in Rispescia (GR)

A highly virtuous example of Circular Economy aimed at recycling end-of-life tyres, which has allowed us to give new life to recycled rubber, a precious material with multiple use possibilities.

We all can and must contribute to the better functioning of the Circular Economy system.

First, changing our way of considering wastes, not as scrap material anymore, but  as a precious source of new material; when we talk about “secondary raw materials” we mean a resource for the planet and the place where we can obtain these  resources are the wastes management plants.

Differentiating waste correctly means offering material for the creation of something useful, thanks to the connection work between who generates the waste and who transforms it, carried out by the waste management companies.

Second, to reduce product waste we can implement  product and objects sharing processes (sharing economy), as for example car sharing; not using an object, leaving disused, means uselessly wasting energy and production resources, while, putting it at disposal of others we contribute to reduce waste of raw materials in the production processes, limiting it only to what necessary.

Repairable objects are often  disused or thrown away; repairing an object and continuing to use  it, or concentrating on products with longer life-cycle designed to grow old over the years and be repaired – in the perspective of sustainable design – means, lastly, maximising the product’s life-cycle duration, valorising the energy and resources used to produce it.

To reach a perfectly circular model we could take inspiration from the natural world’s ecosystems, where every scrap is a resource.

Plants, in their vital processes nourish themselves with carbon dioxide and  release oxygen; oxygen is fundamental in the  respiration process of human beings that eliminate  carbon dioxide.

Two elements that are at the same time scrap and resource, depending on who uses them.

 

Nature itself offers us the right perspective, we just have to know how to look at it.

È la natura stessa ad offrirci la giusta prospettiva, basta saperla guardare.