During a public session of the Santo Stefano district council, residents expressed all their doubts and criticisms about the conditions of the roads and the shortcomings of the new collection system. “The door-to-door method does not work as it should,” explains an attendee at the meeting. “The calendar-system requires us to keep the bags of rubbish at home for a week. Whereas after the weekend, the center is in a shocking condition with rubbish strewn everywhere.”
The streets, meanwhile, are getting dirtier. For his part, Councilor Alberto Aitini, responded by announcing news of a new plan to be proposed by January, with an important commitment: more severe penalties for those who fail to separate their rubbish collection.
Aitini replied to the citizens during the Council at the Baraccano:
“The door-to-door system was studied long ago to remove the large bins and make more space for hundreds of parking spaces. We know the critical issues are in applying these measures to a city like Bologna. It’s in everyone’s interest to reach as soon as possible the national goal of 70% of waste disposal with separate waste collection: currently we are at 52% and we risk incurring heavy penalties.”
The idea is to “pay more attention to those abusing the rules with bigger fines and more control, perhaps with the help of technology: we are thinking of a video camera system to identify who abandon bags on the street or dump their rubbish in the wrong containers.” These proposals would also apple in the historic center.
One of the main problems citizens complain about is the lack of information regarding the collection systems, especially among the university students who are away from home, often coming from cities where the same type of collection system does not even exist. Residents are also disappointed by being forced to pay the most expensive waste tax, despite their heavy criticism of the service.
“Currently the contractor’s procurement costs the municipality more than the income of the Tari (waste tax),” Aitini continued, “but we do not intend to increase taxes any further. The Hera contract has been extended, but a new call for tenders will take place over the next few months, an idea that I have always supported. We want to change the system so as to make everyone pay what they produce, so as to reward those who are most diligent in separating their collections.”
Despite the councilor’s willingness to engage in this subject, however, there are those who present at the Council meeting, who proposed alternative solutions. For example, one resident suggested: “Hera is a publicly traded company and every year an assembly is organized open to all the shareholders. The cost of an action is 2.5 euros: by purchasing a stock we could take our requests directly to the service manager.”