Acea’s sustainable proposals at Ecomondo, from asphalt from plastic to water protection apps

The Acea group participates again this year in Ecomondo, the most important fair of the green and circular economy of the Euro-Mediterranean area, starting today in Rimini. The green vocation of the Group, which is increasingly strong and supported by strategies aimed at protecting the territory, the sustainable use of resources and the eco-compatible development of infrastructures, is confirmed by the projects presented concerning its main business areas: the water sector, in which Acea is the largest national player with 9 million inhabitants served, the environment, with approximately 1.7 million tons of waste managed each year and the energy sector, with the push towards renewable sources and the development of electric mobility projects. The common denominator of the proposals presented at the Acea stand (pavilion D1, stand 160) is a development model that aims to contribute in an increasingly concrete way to the transition towards a sustainable ecosystem, where industrial development is combined with respect and environmental protection.

In the waste treatment sector, in particular in the recycling of plastics, the Group presents at Ecomondo a new plant under construction in Cittaducale (Rieti), intended for the selection and recovery of plastic materials from urban separate waste collection; with an overall investment of 35 million euro, it will treat approximately 90 kton / year and is the largest, in terms of capacity, of Acea and of Central Italy.

The new Selection Center (Css), which will come into operation by 2024, will also carry out the selection by type of material and color of waste and plastic packaging from urban and industrial separate waste collection on behalf of the consortium systems. From the manufacturing process different types of products will be obtained ready to have a second life in the form of PET bottles, polyethylene bottles and films or crates for fruit and vegetables and mixed packaging. The plant, characterized by a high technological level and high performance, is added to the Acea Ambiente portfolio as the third CSS, after those of Demap in Beinasco (To) and Cavallari (An). Thanks to its characteristics it will also integrate with the Meg (Vr) and Serplast (Te) plants for the recycling of plastic materials and the generation of secondary raw materials, contributing to an ever better control of the value chain in the recovery and recycling chain of plastics.

The organic growth of the group in the waste treatment sector is joined by acquisitions, the latest in chronological order that of 70% of the capital of Tecnoservizi Srl which operates in the province of Rome with an authorized treatment capacity of 210 thousand tons per year, and that of the entire capital of Italmacero Srl, owner of a plant in the Ancona Nord area, with an authorized capacity of 13 thousand tons, both companies active in the mechanical treatment and recovery of differentiated and special non-hazardous municipal waste. The strengthening of the Group in central Italy in the recovery and recycling sectors therefore continues, including energy recovery thanks to the very recent Integrated Environmental Authorization for the construction of the fourth line of the San Vittore del Lazio (Fr) plant, the only waste-to-energy plant in the region.

Again in the plastics treatment sector, Acea Ambiente signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Metropolitan City of Turin and the Polytechnic of the Piedmontese capital for an experimental project on the use of recycled polymers in road paving. The research aims to find innovative solutions capable of transforming polymers into sustainable, safe asphalts with high quality standards, to be used in the more than 2,900 kilometers that make up the Turin road network.

In the organic waste treatment sector, Acea Ambiente presented the results of research carried out in collaboration with the University of Tuscia and some fertilizer companies, which demonstrated how the use of compost in agriculture has improved effects both in production and in soil quality impoverished by agronomic practices of chemical origin. The reuse of organic substances, deriving from the processing and transformation of wet waste, favors the maintenance of the soil structure and the prevention of compaction and erosion phenomena as well as being used in the formulation of new organo-mineral fertilizers for precision farming and agriculture 4.0.

Again with a view to the waste transition, the Acea SmartComp project is part of the Acea SmartComp project, created by Acea in collaboration with Enea and the University of Tuscia, which has as its objective the widespread and participatory treatment of organic waste produced by large users (canteens, hospitals, shopping centers , airports, stations), with the aim of also reducing CO2 emissions produced by the transport of waste. The goal is to install 150 Smart Comps by 2024 to create a delocalized waste management model equal to that of a traditional plant necessary for a city of 150,000 inhabitants: thus eliminating the collection and transport of organic waste guaranteeing the reduction of climate-altering emissions equal to approximately 3,000 trucks less on the roads and 3.6 million km not traveled by heavy vehicles. The relocation of organic waste treatment plants, together with the spread of renewable energy production plants, constitutes the starting point for the creation of a self-sufficient and sustainable Circular Community.

The Acea Group has embarked on a path aimed at developing a sustainability ecosystem, “Waidy | Every Drop Vale ”, which is divided between the different activities of the integrated water cycle. The protection of water resources is the basis of the strategic choices and technological research of the Acea Group which, thanks to the adoption of the Wms, Waidy Management System, allows the constant monitoring of water districts, preventing inefficiencies, reducing intervention times, identifying the presence of any leaks. Still with a view to protecting environmental resources, Waidy Wow, the app dedicated to the community that loves water and the environment, promotes the responsible consumption of water resources thanks to the mapping and geolocation of over 50 thousand supply points on throughout the national territory, encouraging the use of refill containers and thus contributing to the reduction of single-use plastic. Finally, the sensors and Waidy Connect technology make it possible to have detailed information on the quality of the water and to produce timely reports on the water resource along the entire network managed by Acea.

Areti, the Acea Group company that manages public lighting, has launched a pilot project, funded by the European community, and already implemented in Rome, in the Centocelle district, which revolutionizes the approach to electricity consumption and optimizes grid management. Plato (PLATform for Operation of distribution Networks) thanks to innovative technologies and the use of renewable energies, built around the application of the blockchain, enables energy flexibility mechanisms in favor of an extremely inclusive market. The experimentation concerns different types of users (such as homes with plants for the production of energy from renewable sources or charging stations for electric vehicles) and creates an intelligent distribution network that introduces the necessary flexibility in the electricity system to balance supply and demand. of energy and level the consumption and production peaks that can put the grid in crisis and prevent the use of renewable energy.