Modus Riciclandi: educating children and the community about decreasing waste and increasing reuse

Modus Riciclandi helped 12 000 students learn about the creative reuse of waste material. Teaching boxes were created and distributed to encourage students to learn about sustainability.

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Each teacher box comes with a set of seven activities, including science, art and games to understand how and why we should reduce waste. © modusriciclandi Each teacher box comes with a set of seven activities, including science, art and games to understand how and why we should reduce waste. © modusriciclandi

" Through contact with teachers and from their direct participation in some of our projects, we witnessed a strong sense of purpose in schools in regards to the issues of waste and environmental education. "

Daniele Zulliger, Head of Waste Management Office

Waste management and recycling are important tools for European territorial cooperation – especially as waste knows no borders. Since Italy and Switzerland share a border, they decided to share the responsibility for reducing the amount of waste and finding innovative ways for reusing material.

Integrated strategy

The Modus Riciclandi – Cross Border Integrated Plan (I.T.P.) Waste project uses an integrated strategy that consists of three main components: ReMida, Rifiutilinsubrici and Insubria-Pulizia Sconfinata. Starting in 2011 and continuing for a period of three academic years, environmental sustainability education was integrated into the curriculum of local primary and secondary schools. The goal of the courses was to reinforce environmental awareness and to develop a cross-border action network between the two countries.

Seventy teachers worked together to develop the educational tools that were integrated into an array of school activities. For example, they cultivated best practices and identified schools that were interested in becoming green schools. They also distributed 700 teaching boxes full of creative ideas and activities for integrating sustainability into the classroom to teachers.

Reporting waste goes high-tech

Another important component of the project was the waste abandonment. To address this issue, a web-based Global-Information-System (GIS) platform was developed to report waste. The tool replaced such traditional methods for reporting waste as the telephone, fax or email.

The software uses GIS technology to identify the location of abandoned waste that can be shared by local authorities. Citizens were allowed to contribute to the reporting process and training courses on using the tool were organised.

Creative means to reuse waste

Two centres were opened for educating the public on creative ways to reuse waste material. The goal was to create a culture of reuse throughout the target area.

The project focused primarily on schools, families and other social groups. In total, 82 workshops were held and 12 000 students educated. The effort included 600 citizens and the training of 180 teachers.

As a result of all these efforts, more than 5 tonnes of waste material was collected.

Total Investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Modus Riciclandi – Cross Border Integrated Plan (I.T.P.) Waste’ is EUR 3 083 349, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 2 538 565 from the Operational Programme ‘Italy - Switzerland’ for the programming period 2007-2013.

Draft date

18/01/2016

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