CRASH! The sound of broken glass shatters the silence of the dark, rainy night. My jet-lagged brain takes a moment to process. It’s a Sunday night in January 1999, and I have just fallen asleep in the apartment that I’ve rented over the Internet for the entire coming year. As the taxi approached it earlier that day, I started to have doubts about the area I had chosen. It looked really bleak and deserted. The crashing noise outside, which I decide must be someone breaking car windows, is making me want to book the next flight back home.
It was only the next morning, when I went outside bleary-eyed, that I discovered the blue, bell-shaped container for glass recycling that was conveniently placed right beneath my bedroom window. The emptying of this container is fascinating: the whole thing gets hoisted up over a truck equipped to remove its bottom, so that everything is expelled at once, with incredible racket. At first, garbage sorting, disposal, and taxes seemed ingenious and strange to me. Now I have a black belt in all three. I even have plastic bins with lids, purchased at IKEA, that I use for sorting materials!
Different types of garbage and recycling
Bins: The following bins are usually found every 100 metres or so on city streets:
Blue bin: bagged, general, non-separated garbage
Yellow bins: paper and cardboard
Blue plastic “bells”: glass, plastic, cans, and tetra-pak recycling
Green and brown bins: compostable and garden waste (only in some areas)
Dangerous household waste: Batteries, prescription drugs, toner and inks, and anything else toxic should be taken directly to your nearest “garbage centre.” (Check out list on the Quadrifoglio Website). Your local supermarket or pharmacy may also have a bin for these things.
Large garbage collection: Call this phone number for free pick-up of things like old appliances, furniture etc: 055 7339328. For construction garbage, you have to take it to a dump where you may leave it free of charge.
Used clothing and accessories can be put in the tall yellow bins marked “Caritas,” from which it will be distributed to the needy.
The new garbage tax (TIA)
The Tariffa sul’Igiene Ambientale (TIA) is now in effect. For residential use, it is calculated on the size of the space you own or inhabit, as well as on the number of people who live there.
You must declare the number of residents and the size of your home to the comune within 60 days of moving in or out of a habitation, or if there have been changes to these factors. If you do not do this, you will be penalized. Talk to your landlord or condominium administrator, if you have one, to find out if a declaration has been made for you already.
If you compost, you have the right to a 25% deduction on the variable portion of the tax. You can request a free composter from the comune by downloading a form from the TIA Website. Families that comprise a disabled person are entitled to a reduction of 50% on the variable portion of the tax.
The initial declaration for the TIA can be made at the “sportello tia” (see addresses in inset box) or by downloading the forms from the Internet and faxing them in. For variations in resident status, you must declare at the Anagrafe, and you can get the necessary forms there too. The form is easy to fill out. The bill will be mailed to the address you specify on the form.
Make your declaration at:
Any URP (public relations) office
Any Ufficio Anagrafe
Via Bibbiena 41 (M-F, 8.30 – 14.00 /14.30 – 17.30)
Piazza Madonna della Neve, 1 (M-F, 8.00 – 18.30)
For Further information:
TIA: tel 800 485822, www.tariffa-tia.info
Quadrifoglio: tel 800 330011, www.quadrifoglio.org