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Garbage Collection in Italy

Pauline Kenny

Household garbage is handled differently in Italy than in the US. Garbage is not collected from the house; instead you take your garbage and recycling to central drop off areas.

In the photo below, I am dropping a bag of garbage into the container in the parking lot at San Giovanni d'Asso (famous for its white truffles). Notice that this garbage bin opens easily when you step on the lever. (Not all trash bins have these levers and some of the lids can be heavy to open.)

Pauline dealing with household garbage in San Giovanni

Pauline dealing with household garbage in San Giovanni

This garbage drop off area has two recycling bins as well. They are clearly marked. Usually you can recyle newspaper, glass and plastic. They recommend that you squish down your plastic water bottles so they take less room. Just place the empty plastic bottle without its cap on a counter and flatten it straight down, then put on the cap. Presto - a squished up plastic bottle.

You will find garbage drop off areas near every village in the countryside. Sometimes you come along a garbage bin in the middle of nowhere, along the side of the road.

On our first trips in the mid 90s, you had to use specially marked bags for your garbage. They were quite expensive and you bought them at the local stores. This was how they "taxed" your garbage. This no longer seems to be the practice and you can use old shopping bags or buy rolls of garbage bags in stores.

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