Rome mayor moves ahead with plan for giant incinerator

Waste-to-energy plant set to open in 2026.

Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri is moving ahead with his plans to build a giant incinerator south of the capital, calling for expressions of interest to construct the plant, the city said on Thursday.

The plan foresees a 600,000-ton waste-to-energy plant being built on a 10-hectare site in an industrial area of Santa Palomba, part of the Municipio IX borough in the southern fringe of Rome.

The news was announced by the mayor during the presentation of an “ambitious” waste plan, designed to “make Rome self-sufficient, overcoming a shameful situation of the city that has no [waste treatment] plants”.

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There will be a call for tenders next summer, with the construction of the massive incinerator set to begin in the summer of 2024, ahead of its planned completion in 2026.

The move, which does not involve Lazio regional authorities, was taken by Gualtieri in his capacity as extraordinary commissioner of the Jubilee 2025, a role he was appointed to by the former Draghi government.

Gualtieri said that without the planned incinerator the city would be forced to present plans for a one-million-ton landfill site, underlining that the waste-to-energy plant will achieve the city’s goal of “zero landfill” and will not require any rubbish dumps.

The mayor said the plant would be built according to the “latest generation technology” to protect the environment and that “it will be financed entirely by whoever wins the tender.”

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Gualtieri said the waste-to-energy plant will be built with “a project financing system” and “on land that will be granted” by the municipal refuse collection agency AMA.

He said that expressions of interest to build the plant are open to public utilities and that the project is not reserved for private companies, adding that the “majority of multi-utilities are public-private”.

He stressed that no public money is involved in the plan which would lead to lower rubbish collection charges for Rome residents. For more details (in Italian) see city website.

Photo: Ackab Photography / Shutterstock.com.