LIFE Project Cover Photo

Pilot project for scale re-use starting from bulky waste stream

Reference: LIFE11 ENV/IT/000277 | Acronym: PRISCA



Italy produces 541 kg of waste per capita (2008 figures). Only 30% of the total waste produced is sorted into separate streams, well below the legislative target of 45%. In terms of the collection of separated waste, northern Italy has reached a rate of 45.5%, central Italy 22.9%, and southern Italy 14.7%. More than half (56%) of the country's waste is sent for disposal. Landfill sites are the main destination for waste (49% of total waste production). Italian landfill sites produce an average of 500 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (kg/CO2eq.) per tonne of municipal solid waste. With some 15 981 000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) disposed of in landfills in Italy in 2008, the production of greenhouse gases from waste amounted to 7 990 500 tonnes/CO2eq., or 1.5% of Italy's total CO2 production. Reducing the volume of landfilled waste is therefore a priority.


The main objective of the PRISCA project was to reduce the flow of bulky waste sent to landfill. The project also aimed to increase the recovery and reuse of bulky waste. Its specific aims were to contribute to the effective implementation of the EU Thematic Strategy on waste and natural resources, focusing its efforts on the national priorities; to set up two demonstration reuse centres, in Vicenza (northern Italy) and San Benedetto del Tronto (central Italy); and to reduce the flow of bulky waste going to landfill, with a target of reusing 60% of that waste.


The PRISCA project contributed to improvements in waste management generally and, in particular, to the implementation of the waste prevention objectives of the EU Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC). The project established two waste reuse centres, in Vicenza and San Benedetto del Tronto, which reduced the flow of waste and goods going to landfill by reusing more than 60% of the incoming material at both sites.

In both the demonstration sites, performance monitoring systems were implemented. These consisted of traceability tools that provide useful information, and verified the project’s target in terms of intercepted waste flows and management efficiency of the overall process from interception to marketing. Dedicated software was used for the optical reading of characters on labels, to replace the manual input of codes, which made the process of traceability for intercepted goods both easier and faster. The project team created a testing and repair laboratory and published a technical manual.

The project’s dissemination activities, aiming to replicate the model in other areas, included 20 regional seminars, targeted at local operators and public administrations, 2 national workshops, 3 national conferences, and a final International event. Intensive networking activities were also organised with other LIFE projects. Awareness-raising activities were aimed at citizens living near the two waste reuse sites, focusing on citizen involvement in waste management and sustainable consumption behaviour.

The environmental impacts of the PRISCA model were evaluated with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools. Environmental benefits were generated by the reduction of quantities of waste and goods destined for disposal by landfill or incineration, through their diversion into reuse activities that extended their life cycle as second-hand goods. This life cycle extension brings relative saving in resources, and subsequent savings in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. During the start-up phase in Vicenza, a total of 244 tonnes (2014), and in San Benedetto del Tronto a total of 5 tonnes (during 5 months in 2015), were diverted from the waste flows. LCA evaluations of the global GHG savings connected to the activity of the reuse centres during this start-up phase were for 236 tonnes CO2 eq. in Vicenza and 36 tonnes CO2 eq. in San Benedetto del Tronto.

In addition to helping implement the Waste Framework Directive, the PRISCA project also contributes to the implementation of the Thematic Strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources COM(2005)670 final; COM(2003)302 on Integrated Product Policy; the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and Sustainable Industrial Policy (SIP) Action Plan COM(2008)397 final; and the Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of Waste COM(2005)666 and its follow-up Report on the Strategy COM(2011)13, which stressed that waste prevention was a priority to be urgently implemented. Waste production prevention is also an important objective in the Communication Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe (COM (2014)398).

The PRISCA model developed an economically-sustainable supply chain that supports waste prevention activities in the long term. The project integrated the second-hand product sector and the reuse supply chain through its solid urban waste management system, to increase the interception of reusable items. PRISCA introduced an ‘industrial approach’, to promote standardisation of manufacturing processes, in a field not always well-organised as far as supply, workflow management and final retail are concerned.

Management tools that enable optimal traceability and the logistic organisation of the reuse centres, allow reuse operators to increase and widen their market and to better cope with market demand. The demonstration activities in the two project areas, involving a multi-disciplinary team of coordinating and five associate beneficiaries, showed the importance of cooperation among stakeholders at waste reuse centres.

In terms of social benefits, the PRISCA model helped create new jobs at the two reuse centres and, as the activity is likely to become a structural support to local waste management systems, this result can be acknowledged as a long-term benefit. During the project, all the job positions created in Vicenza for implementing the Prisca model were made permanent, increasing the staff of Cooperativa Insieme. Furthermore, in San Benedetto del Tronto, which was a greenfield, implementation generated four permanent part-time positions and the opportunity to hire four disadvantaged people via the Municipal administration. In addition, the introduction of standardised procedures and equipment, along with workers’ training activities, enabled improvements to be noted in conditions, as well as in health and safety, in the workplace.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Reference: LIFE11 ENV/IT/000277
Acronym: PRISCA
Start Date: 01/09/2012
End Date: 30/06/2015
Total Budget: 1,647,165 €
EU Contribution: 761,534 €
Project Location:


Coordinating Beneficiary: Scuola Superiore di studi universitari e di perfezionamento Sant'Anna
Legal Status: PAT
Address: Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33, 56127, Pisa, Italia
Contact Person: Francesco RIZZI
Tel: +39 050883983

LIFE Project Map



  • Waste reduction - Raw material saving
  • Waste recycling


  • public awareness campaign
  • waste recycling
  • waste reduction
  • life-cycle management


  • COM(2014)398 - "Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe" (02.07.2014)
  • Directive 2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.2008)


Name Type
Scuola Superiore di studi universitari e di perfezionamento Sant'Anna Coordinator
Occhio del Riciclone Lazio ONLUS, Italy Participant
Insieme Società Cooperativa Sociale a r.l., Italy Participant
Valore Ambiente S.r.l., Italy Participant
Comune di San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy Participant
WWF Ricerche e Progetti, Italy Participant