Rome City : The Ancient City Of Italy Piling Up The Rubbish.

The capital exports 1.2 million tons of its garbage every year, at a cost of 180 million euros ($206 million)

Rome is an ancient city and the capital of Italy. Rubbish pollution has been an unnoticeable problem that this city is facing today. 

Statistically, the Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal from the perception of visitors is 79.41% which is categorized into high whereas on Dirt and Untidy the scale is very high, reaching up to 80.83%.

According to the journal article it was stated that the Roman – Ancient city population was much smaller than today and the growing population has put stress on not just the administration but also the environment. The rising population has raised environmental issues, primarily the litter or Rubbish pollution.

Due to increasing rubbish pollution, The administration has been shipping waste across Europe. The litter pollution has also triggered the blame games over who should be accountable instead of solving it.

Garbage Pollution

Above picture indicates the growth in population which is the first reason for growing rubbish pollution as the city is not ready to handle the growing populations and settlements. 

Above chart indicated the increase in Tourist visitors in Rome over the time. The tourist also adds up the garbage or rubbish into the city although they are on their temporary stay.

The other reason is poor waste management from the authority and administration. This not only disturbs the environment but will also lessen the beauty of the city over the period which will have a large impact on the tourism industry. 

Waste Management of Rome

Rome’s Waste Management and its dysfunctional is decade long even though it is known for waste management, it was begun with a big black hole which was also called as Malagrotta landfills, one of the largest in Europe till 2013. It was the only site devoted to the city’s garbage disposal over three decades.

Rome has no real strategy for recycling and it produces approximately 1.7 million metric tons of waste every year with no major site to dump due to which shipping over Europe idea came into existence. 

In one of the articles it was suggested that Rome should be getting back to the basic waste management strategies and adopt a new recycling strategy as other cities to bring changes and maintain the reputation as well as maintain the beauty of the city.

Initiatives by the Authorities and other organisations

Rome Metro offers trash for the ticket 

This movement not only saves the money of the people but also recycles the waste and makes people aware about the current environmental emergency faced by the city. 

Since Rome has failed to design an efficient differentiated waste collection system, this helps for the start to segregate the recyclable trash from the general waste.

Rome Street Recycling Bank 

This collects the bulky as well as electronic waste from the home as well as work places. This occurs every month by AMA to collect and drop to recycling centres in the city. 

It is also divided into three colour banks: Blue bank(Glass, plastic and metal containers), White Bank (Paper, cardboard, paperboard), Grey/Green Bank (Non-recyclable materials and organic waste), the electrical and other disposable or reusable waste are collected separately.

Initiatives by the Community

It is a self-volunteer campaign led by Africans migrants on the streets of Rome in 2018. Rome nearly bankrupted and had no  money to hire people to clean the city the migrants from Africa came forward every morning and helped the Roman city to be clean and beautiful in their tough time.

  • Actor’s call for colossal cleanup inspires Roman citizens to roll up sleeves:

The demand by the Italian actor Alessandro Gassmann for the Rome city to roll-up their sleeves took a big spotlight after other actors tweeted in support. This leaded to a successful campaign with  enthusiastic response including the citizen who also took part and posted pictures of them cleaning the streets. 


A circular economy is an economic system of closed loops in which raw materials, components, and products lose their value as little as possible, renewable energy sources are used and systems thinking is at the core.

Circular Economy works on the 3-R model

  • Reduce
  • Re-use
  • Recycle


Litter Pollution and Recycle waste 

  • The plastics which are found as litter or trash can be recycled or re-use to make different products which will require the less new plastic generation and can extend the life of plastic.
  • The litter can be recycled into short-live consumer products, clothing, synthetic material or product, artificial jewelry, fishing equipment, and a lot more things.
  • At the design stage, less complex polymers can be used which will make it easier while recycling the product.
  • The commercial waste can be reused if there is a proper arrangement by the manufacturing company of engineers who can resolve the technical issues and extend the use of the product.


One of the circular economy models implemented by Earth5R is by conducting the “Residential Building Project“. By making the local people aware about the importance of segregation and what are recyclable and non-recyclable waste, the problem can be minimised. 

Programmes like Zero Waste Programme, Mobilizing Rag Picker For Dry Waste Management, and Community based exhibitions stalls were included in “Residential building project”. 

Rome can adopt the idea and start involving citizens and local residents to segregate the waste. The contribution made by citizens will take a little stress out of the administrative shoulder.

This program is a great example of a circular economy as it brought environmental, social, and economic impact.

  • Environmental: Better segregation of waste and clean city.
  • Social: The citizens get aware and motivated to work towards better waste management.
  • Economic: It saves a lot of money for segregation and more human resources working towards achieving this aim.

Ultimately, solving the problems of pollution and environment issues within the Ancient city “Rome” does not simply rely on judgement, but also circular economy based solutions to create a more sustainable and cleaner environment for the future.

Reach out to Earth5R to know more about solving environmental issues by creating circular economy based sustainability projects.


Earth5R is an environmental organization from India with its head office at Mumbai. It works with the NGO sector, Companies and helps them conduct environmental corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs across India. Earth5R specializes in circular economy based projects. Earth5R also offers short term and long term environmental courses.

Earth5R is conducting large-scale online training on COVID 19 Coronavirus prevention, response, management, and self-sustainability. These training are conducted on digital platforms in regional languages across India and other countries.

Earth5R’s Global Sustainability Hub is a cross-sector and cross-country collaboration in pursuit of UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is an excellent opportunity for governments and the private sector to engage with communities, use Sustainability-based models to drive economic changes and create social and environmental impact.

Reported by Roshni Nair, edited by Mehfil Mubarak