Environmental News

Italian Environmental Campaigner Wins Goldman Prize for 2013

Italian Environmental Campaigner Wins Goldman Prize for 2013
Bernadine Racoma

The person who served as the prime mover behind the zero-waste movement in Italy is one of the awardees of the Goldman Prize, the equivalent of the Oscar for the environmental movement. Waste campaigner Rossano Ercolini is an organizing member of the Zero Waste International Alliance. He continues to campaign for reduction of waste and recycling and closure of incinerators.

Ercolini is 56 years old and is an elementary school teacher by profession. He has been a key player in improving waste management systems in 123 municipalities in Naples, Italy.

A better city

Ercolini has done much to solve the waste crisis that has been assailing Naples, a city of almost one million people, for a long time. He pushed the city to engage in its zero-waste goals. He is working with the mayor and the clergy. As a matter of fact, he has involved the Bishop of Lucca to call the burning of wastes in incinerators as “immoral.”

For many years, Naples had a major waste disposal issue with rubbish littered on the streets. In 2007 garbage bags were piled high at every corner because they were not collected for weeks at a time. Ercolini made a bold move in 2011 and succeeded in convincing the mayor of the city to implement a zero-waste strategy. This alternative to the “burn or bury model” that was traditionally practiced in Italy and Europe is now benefiting around two million people.

Big dreams start from small initiatives

Ercolini said in an interview that he was unaware of the kind of international attention that his work has been getting. He has been devoted to his work for a long time, having started in the 1970s, kick started by plans to build an incinerator near his place of employment. Subsequent issues related to waste issues occurring much later in his hometown gave him the impetus to focus his efforts on waste management.

At this time, Ercolini continues to put “pressure” on the Naples administration to ensure that the local government officials live up to their promise and devote themselves fully to the waste management strategy. He has indeed gone very far from his initial success in Capannori, his hometown in Tuscany. The citizens of this town now recycle 82% of the solid waste that they generate. Ercolini is hoping that the European Union will approve zero waste legislation.

Winners all

Ercolini was very humble in his acceptance speech and happily accepted the recognition for two decades of environmental campaigning. Ercolini is joined in the honors by a marsh restoration project head from Iraq and a campaigner for anti-fracking from Africa. This year’s winners received the recognition in a formal ceremony in San Francisco, the Zero Waste Europe gala.

The Goldman Environmental Prize was put up by Richard and Rhoda Goldman in 1989. The Goldman’s are civic leaders from San Francisco. Nominations are accepted from organizations and individuals from around the world. The prize winners are identified by an international jury. The Goldman Prize is considered as the “Green Nobel.”


Comment Below

More in Environmental News


Obama Creates Bears Ears and Gold Butte Nature Preserves

Denise RecaldeDecember 29, 2016

Warm Ocean Water Accelerating the Loss of Antarctic Ice

Denise RecaldeOctober 25, 2016

Point of No Return for Climate Change

Christina CombenOctober 24, 2016

Huge Hurricane Season in the Pacific and a Quiet Atlantic Due to El Niño

Bernadine RacomaDecember 4, 2015
DayNews-Sprout Europe new3336_highres

Say Goodbye to Wooden Pencil Stubs

Bernadine RacomaNovember 11, 2015
Blue Host Eco Group Picking Up Trash

Company Picks Up Trash for Every Item They Sell

Day NewsSeptember 10, 2015
Solar Farms

Abandoned Golf Courses + Solar Farms = Renewable Energy Source

Day NewsJuly 25, 2015

New Study on the Slowdown in Global Warming

Bernadine RacomaAugust 22, 2014
Image credit: KSan Control Tower taken by Intersofia (talk | contribs) under Public Domain.

San Diego International Airport is First in the World to Receive the LEED Platinum Award

Bernadine RacomaMay 2, 2014