The waste management sector is back to health after the Pandemic with growth in production value (13.1 billion and +11% in 2021) and Ebitda (2 billion and +17%) for the 234 players in the three sectors collection, treatment/disposal and sorting/valorisation, while the Top 124 collection and treatment/disposal companies recorded record levels of investments (912 million euros in 2021) with a growth of 59.6% on an annual basis.
The thrust of the Pnrr
Projects driven by the consolidation of the business perimeter, by the construction of new plants for the selection and treatment of materials and by the replacement of the vehicle fleet. The Pnrr plays an important role in this push, although it presents gray areas and critical elements with numerous projects withdrawn or suspended, others blocked by Nimby or by political second thoughts, still others (especially in the South) more attentive to recovering the gap mature plants that push innovation. 57.8% of investments are still due to the large multi-utility segment, while an alarming figure is that only 1.6% is located in the South and 10.5% in the Centre, with the North continuing to concentrate l 85.4% of the entire pie.
To the photo
This is the photograph taken from the Was and Althesys “Waste Strategy” Annual Report 2022 which will be presented today in Milan by the CEO of Althesys Strategic Consultants, Alessandro Marangoni. The report also highlights the strong recovery of extraordinary operations implemented by sector players, 35 in 2021 against 21 recorded in 2020: in 60% of cases these are acquisitions aimed at growing outside the core business or consolidating in the supply chain. The partnerships for technological innovation stand out. A focus on special waste confirms, despite the persistent fragmentation, that it is a profitable and dynamic sector, with a 10.6% increase in volumes. A third of the companies that manage urban waste are also active in the special ones.
Pnrr, “not negligible” number of suspended projects
In the Report there is a chapter dedicated to Pnrr projects. An original work that explores 201 of the 835 proposals – and in some cases the state of implementation – presented on six different investment lines of mission 2, component 1 of the Plan, just over a year after the decrees for the selection of eligible projects. The mapped proposals are 24% of the total admitted by the then Mite. To the 835 total, however, 50 projects excluded or withdrawn by the proponents and 195 suspended pending clarifications must be added, for a total of 1080 initiatives. Some significant elements emerge from this analysis, as well as some critical issues. There is no shortage of cases of Nimby, especially in the South, where there are even projects withdrawn by the municipalities due to citizen protests after they had obtained a high score.
Even without precise quantification, the report nonetheless denounces a “not negligible” number of suspended projects, concentrated above all in line 1 1 C (revamping and construction of Fanchi, Pad and textile plants) “the fate of which is currently unclear”. Another element, which confirms the imbalance between the North and the Centre-South, is that “innovative projects are concentrated in the North, while the initiatives in the Centre-South seem aimed above all at making up for the delays accumulated over the years in traditional plant engineering”. Furthermore, we note “the high number of Forsu (wet) plants, although some with lower scores than other initiatives” and “the risk that plants to be built in areas that already have adequate treatment capacity will be financed”.