PRISCA – Pilot Project for scale reuse starting from bulky waste stream

Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies        (Scuola Superiore di studi universitari e di perfezionamento Sant’Anna, Pisa) – Project coordinator

Contact: Marco Frey (Project Manager),        E-mail:
Phone: +39 050883983, Fax: +39 050883936

Address: Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33 – 56127 Pisa
Phone: 050 883111 / 050 883225

References: more info you can find here, here, here, here, here,herehere.

„PRISCA project demonstrated the feasibility of an innovative model that introduces the standardization of manufacturing processes in the second-hand sector, by using advanced tools and procedures to fill the gaps that often hinders the development of informal economies. PRISCA model is adaptive to different normative contexts and compatible with a correct waste traceability. Finally, it is intrinsically oriented to economic sustainability, and it contributes to the reduction of  GHGs emissions.”

Marco Frey, Project Manager



WHERE: Italy, Regions: Veneto, Toscana, Marche, Lazio
WHEN: 01.09.2012-30.06.2015, Operational Center since 2014 (Vicenza) and 2015 (San Benedetto del Tronto)- Finalised
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Prevention: Replacement – Reduction, Preparing for reuse
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Education/information/awareness raising, Voluntary/promotional
WASTE STREAMS: Bulky waste

About: Under the project, 2 Waste Reuse Centers have been established, in Vicenza and San Benedetto del Tronto, two towns with different waste streams, different typologies of waste generators and second-hand sector operators.
The main objective of the PRISCA project was to reduce the flow of bulky waste sent to landfills and to increase the recovered and reused materials and goods resulted from bulky waste stream.
Through these centres, the flow of waste and goods going to landfill has been reduced, by reusing more than 60% of the incoming material and goods at both locations.


PRISCA’s specific aims were to contribute to the effective implementation of the EU Thematic Strategy on Waste and Natural resources (Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC)) focusing its efforts on the national priorities:
– To set up 2 pilot Reuse Centers in Vicenza (Northern Italy) and San Benedetto del Tronto (Central Italy)
– To reduce the flow of bulky waste going to landfill, with a target of reusing 60% of that waste.


These achievements have been possible due to following:
– Performance monitoring systems implemented in both centres, consisting in waste traceability tools and dedicated software for the optical reading of labels
– A testing and repair laboratory developed
– A technical manual published.

• Knowhow: expertise of involved partners (multi-disciplinary team)
• Funding; budget: the project has been co-funded by the LIFE Plus Environment 2011 programme of the European Union
• Project ID: LIFE11 ENV/IT/000277
• Total budget 1.647.165,00 EUR
• EU contribution 761.534,00 EUR
• Materials:
– The reuse centres have vehicle ramps and appropriate equipments for weighing, checking and moving, repairing, cleaning and storage of goods.
– The reusable goods brought at the Centers include: bicycles, appliances, books, toys, furniture etc.


Through both pilot Reuse Centres, the project demonstrated positive results regarding environmental, economical and social aspects: better waste management, increased waste prevention, reduced GHG and new jobs creation.

Citizens living near the 2 Reuse Centres have been involved in awareness activities, which were very efficient, resulting in important quantities of waste diverted from landfills and incineration.

• During the start-up phase in Vicenza, a total of 244 tones (2014) and in San Benedetto del Tronto a total of 5 tones (during 5 months in 2015), were diverted from the landfill.

• At the Centre in Vicenza, between april 2014 and march 2015, a total of 533 tons of
reusable waste and reusable goods were treated (more than one third coming from Municipal Collection Centres).

• Also, LCA (Life Cycle Assessment – Carbon Footprint) evaluations of the global GHG savings connected to the activity of the reuse centres during this start-up phase were for 236 tones CO2 eq. in Vicenza and 36 tones CO2 eq. in San Benedetto del Tronto.

• For the quantity of goods and materials handled by the Centre for Reuse in Vicenza in 2014, savings were estimated at equivalent to 1.911 tonnes of CO2.

62% of reusable goods brought to the centres (home furnishings, books, household goods, bathroom fixtures and household appliances) were reintroduced into the market.

Urban metabolism relevance

The environmental impacts of the PRISCA model were evaluated with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools. Environmental benefits resulted from the reduction of quantities of waste and goods which, in absence of these Centres, would have been disposed at landfills or incinerated. In this way, the goods were diverted to reusing activities, which extended their life cycle as second-hand goods, sold at flea markets, involving social cooperatives, antique shops, charity shops, third party shops.

  • Reuse Centres are operated by community service companies that are working with disadvantaged groups, such as the long-term unemployed, who benefit by specific training, thus fulfilling a social function.
  • The goods life cycle extension brings resource saving and subsequent savings in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The project implemented an operational flow that enhanced the development of separate collection system in the regions where the Centers have been opened, contributing to Italy’s general preoccupation to decrease landfilling of municipal waste.


The practice was considered really innovative in Italy, mainly taking into the account the organizational flow and conducted surveys. The project included consumer and business surveys, both traditional and innovative, for the purpose of understanding how best to financially support this segment of market and how to support policy makers in the implementation of this process.

Engaged participatory processes

The practice made possible the implementation and good functioning of the 2 pilot Reuse Centres, on the grounds of excellent collaboration between several stakeholders involved: local authorities, local municipal waste centres, social cooperatives, local urban waste management companies and academic partners from the project:
• Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (Project coordinator and scientific supervisor)
• Occhio del Riciclone, Roma (Technical supervisor)
• Cooperativa sociale Insieme, Vicenza (Local experimental partner)
• Valore Ambiente SRL, Vicenza (Support to the Local experimental partner)
• Comune di San Benedetto del Tronto, (AP) (Local experimental partner)
• WWF Ricerche e Progetti, Roma e Napoli (awareness raising and dissemination of good practices)

Demonstrative activities in the project areas, involving a multi-disciplinary team, showed the importance of cooperation among stakeholders at Waste Reuse Centres.
Engagement activities involving citizens and stakeholders (local authorities, waste sector operators, second-hand operators, social cooperatives and consumer associations) have been organized during and at the end of project period:
• 20 regional seminars, 2 national workshops, 3 national conferences, and an international event;
• Networking activities;
• Awareness-raising activities targeting citizens living near the 2 Waste Reuse Sites, focused on citizen’s involvement in waste management and on the development of reuse culture and sustainable consumption behaviour.

Sustainability and replicability

One of the most important aims of PRISCA project was to prove that the establishment of similar Reuse Centres can be made in other communities, in Italy, but also in other European countries. To prove this, in the project there were selected 2 cities that are different in terms of waste generation and second-hand sector. The results demonstrated that it is a good and replicable practice that can be successfully applied in other regions as well.

The PRISCA model follows the sustainable development principles. It developed an economically-sustainable supply chain that supports waste prevention activities on a long term run. The project integrated the second-hand product sector and the Reuse supply chain through its solid urban waste management system, leading to an increase of reusable items.

Reuse Centres are an essential part of any prevention plan and can play a key role in local systems of waste management, operated by public actors on a local, regional or national level. They also represent an economic driver for the local second-hand market.

However, the PRISCA model involves several costs, such as: running and collection costs, selection, storage, repackaging and distribution, which cannot be supported only by donations and volunteer labour, but have to be financed.




Success Factors

• The use of management tools that enable optimal traceability and the logistic organization of the Reuse Centres allowed the reuse operators to increase and widen their market and to better cope with market demand.

• PRISCA model helped create new jobs at the 2 Reuse Centres and, as the activity was likely to become a 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. In San Benedetto del Tronto, which was a greenfield, implementation generated 4 permanent part-time jobs and the opportunity to hire 4 disadvantaged people via the Municipal administration.

• The introduction of standardized procedures and equipment, along with workers’ training activities, enabled improvements in working conditions, health and safety.



Waste, Resources, Innovation.

Key Challenges


Reducing the volume of landfilled waste represents a priority, as:

  • In 2008 (available data reference at the project start), Italy generated 541 kg of waste per capita. Only 30% of the total waste produced was sorted into separate streams (below the legislative target of 45%). In terms of the separate collection, 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 was sent for disposal.
  • Landfill sites were the main destination for waste (49% of total generated waste). Italian landfill sites produced an average of 500 kg/CO2eq./ton of municipal solid waste.
  • The production of greenhouse gases from waste represented 1,5% of Italy’s total CO2 production.

During the recent years, Italy has made constant efforts to increase the separate collected waste and thus, to decrease the landfilled and incinerated waste. Significant progress has been recorded in this respect, but there is still room for further improvements, as statistics express.



For more information, please check the deliverable, or contact the implementing body.

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