Only fifty days were needed to solve a serious environmental emergency that had weighed on the community of Rapolano, in the province of Siena, for over 10 years. Here, in Collalto, about 2,000 tonnes of end-of-life tyres that had been abandoned were completely removed at the rate of 4,200 tyres per day by the partner companies of Ecopneus, a non-profit company that is one of the leading managers of end-of-life tyres (ELT) in Italy.
A best practice of public-private collaboration that resolved, without any cost for the coffers of the public administration or the citizens, a serious problem from the points of view of the environment, the landscape and even the health of the population, which had been exposed for years to risks deriving from a potential fire.
With the operations concluded, the balance of ELTs present at the site was slightly lower than the initial estimate, which was 2,700 tonnes. In any case the operations were completed in record time despite the unplanned addition of the manual removal of some fragments of ELTs which, given the rough conditions of the site perched on a hill, could not be removed with the help of mechanical tools.
“The end of operations in Rapolano closes one of the most significant operations for Ecopneus – given the landscape implications and the particular conditions of the area – among all of the 11 “extraordinary” operations performed to date, which have already allowed us to remove over 60,000 tonnes of ELTs,” declared Giovanni Corbetta, the Director General of Ecopneus.
For Emiliano Spanu, the Mayor of Rapolano Terme, “the operation to remove ELTs from the Collalto site is a source of great satisfaction and joy for our community. After many years of efforts and legal battles, we have finally reached the epilogue of this story. The ‘Hill of Shame’ has become a bad memory. I want to thank Ecopneus for the service offered to our community, both as the mayor, on behalf of our municipal administration, but also – and above all – as a citizen of Rapolano Terme. A fruitful collaboration that today has led to the conclusion of the removal operation of the ELTs from Collalto. Collalto is coming back to life. First of all from the point of view of safety, because with the removal of the tyres we avert the greatest risk, that of a potential new environmental disaster. The commitment of the municipal administration will remain strong and constant as regards Collalto, in consultation with all of the relevant authorities and institutions, in order to complete the total remediation of the site as soon as possible. Today we celebrate the first step but we will not easily forget this story, which should be a warning and guide to prevent similar episodes from being repeated. At Rapolano as, indeed, everywhere.”