CATANIA – “The mistake was mine in accepting the resignation”. Before getting to the heart of this morning’s press conference, convened to illustrate the state of the art of the regional waste system, the president of the Sicilian Region comments on the return of the “prodigal son”, in reality recalled with insistence, as explained by the same Musumeci.
Musumeci on Razza: “I’m a guarantee”
“There is a law of the state that establishes unequivocally when a person who holds public office follows the three levels of judgment – he said, responding to reporters. I take responsibility for asking a decent person to return to their place. A request for indictment is not a conviction. The majority applauded this news. We are all happy to have a decent person in his place ”, says the President, reiterating“ trust in the judiciary ”. And again: “He did not want to return but since I made the mistake of accepting his resignation, I asked to return to make amends. Up to a possible third degree of judgment for me a person is innocent. Anyone who does not think like me is a forkman “.
Waste: the state of the art
The meeting with the press then focused on the waste system and on future projects implemented by the Region: among these, the construction of at least one termoutilizzazione. That will be the private individuals to carry out, on a regional tender, but whose control should remain public. At least this is what Musumeci hopes with the aim not only of increasing the performances, still poor, in terms of collection and disposal, but above all to remove the sector from private control. “We need to clarify a delicate sector in which the interest of crime is also strong. We have to draw up the plan, give the authorizations, finance plants and carry out monitoring and control. Instead, we find ourselves having to do everything ourselves, while the competence on collection and disposal belongs to the Municipalities and Provinces ”, Musumeci begins and illustrating the current waste system provides some data. “From 2018 we have gone from 22% of differentiated to 42%”, he says.
Musumeci highlights the steps forward in the management of the waste system, from 2018 to today, not hiding the difficulties related to the absence of plant engineering and the management of the three metropolitan cities, whose collection rates are too low. “In three years, landfill waste has decreased by 30% 1,200,000 tons less in landfills in three years. It means less revenues for private systems: but this is not enough ”, he explains. “We found 22% recycling – adds Musumeci – four public plants that treated 29% of waste and another 4 private ones with 71%. A system of private oligopoly has been created which could, if it wanted to, collapse the system ”.
The plants and the announcement
The need to align with Europe also at the plant level. The president stresses it on several occasions. “In the disposal – the governor recalled – we found six public plants, four of which are already running out, and three private ones that had 90% of the collection. We found the lack of a regional plan, 10 inactive Srr, lack of facilities. bureaucratic slowness, plants authorized by order of the president, 511 exhausted unclassified landfills. In the separate collection – he continues – we found a low percentage of municipalities, poor awareness of citizens, field tenders not started. The Region will take care to cover the inertia “.
The delays to be served
“We have earmarked 200 million for the new plants that will have to be built in Sicily: we must reach at least 65% of urban waste recycling by the end of 2035”, he adds. “This government’s waste policy aligns with Europe’s environmental policy perspectives. We have never been in love with waste-to-energy plants but to put an end to the opaque management of the sector, we need to get rid of landfills. You can’t be a prisoner of landfills, ”he says. “We must free Sicily from the slavery of landfills. For 30 years, politics has worked to create only private ones, and now their owners say they want to close them if the capacity is not doubled. We have no where to dispose of waste. Then one or two waste-to-energy plants are welcome, as happens in 37 parts of Italy, to produce energy, heat and money
The waste-to-energy plant
A system that private individuals will build. It is Musumeci’s announcement that explains why the Region will not be making it happen. “It takes five years to build a new plant in Sicily. Shameful times due to national and regional bureaucracy. Private incinerators can be built in three years. In a few days we will launch the tender to create one, but the control will be of the Region. It is a ‘waste magic’ system that produces wealth: heat and energy. Without this solution we would remain in the hands of the private oligopoly and the landfill culture ”, he continues.
Waste to foreign countries
Pending the construction of the plant, we will proceed, with caution, to give authorization for extensions while, the solution identified, remains that of sending them outside the region. But the cost will cover the public. “We will deal with the emergency as it has been done in the last 20 years, with solutions that will not weigh on the pocket of citizens – he added – if the system in Sicily were to collapse we will do what other regions do, even those” environmentalists’: we will sell waste abroad. I would be of the opinion to make up for it on the pockets of the politicians who created this disaster but we have set aside a nest egg that will allow us to intervene ”.