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Wednesday, 29 January 2014 12:01

Exclusive Interview with Pietro Cella Mazzariol - Founder & CEO of Entsorga

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Pietro Cella Mazzariol is the Founder and CEO of Entsorga S.p.A., a company which was established in 1997 with a mission to study, implement, patent and commercialize new technologies for the environment. Currently he is Chairman and Shareholder at Entsorga Italia S.p.A., Director at Entsorga UK Ltd, and member of BoD at F.lli Mazzariol SRL, Territorio e Risorse Srl and CO2balance Italia. He is author of several scientific environmental publications, with particular reference to MBT, Biogas Cleaning, and SRF Production. With great entrepreneur skills, he's investing in new technologies for environment and energy production.

How do waste management practices fit into future urban systems? Which are the parameters that should be considered when planning, deciding and applying waste solutions? 

Nowadays there are many different models and technologies that can be implemented in order to improve waste management systems. It is my opinion that there are not any “killer” applications or methodologies, rather each local strategy must be tailor made for each territory considering the peculiarity of each situation. The keystone is always to maximize recycling and recovery and get free from the dependency of landfill. In this respect source segregation and separate collection of waste are the main tools we have in order to achieve the target, although effectiveness of this solution can be declined in several ways. We can summarize that as global strategy but local solutions.
The point is always to set the main priorities and then to implement scalable and modular solutions. Years of experience say that the real big mistake is doing nothing. It is much better to get the ball rolling with entry level solutions than to wait years for a magic solution that will wipe away all the problems.

In your opinion, has the recent financial crisis delayed the global “green plans”, and how this has affected the realization of a European recycling society?

Definitely, the scarcity of funds is jeopardizing some projects and has lowered the gate fees for existing plants.
The long wave of previously financed projects that are now under construction have made it possible for the technology provider, such as ourselves, to avoid sensitive reduction of revenues but the future is uncertain indeed.
I think that the path towards a more sustainable society in Europe is irreversible and now, once the investment has nearly achieved the payback, we are also experiencing the economic benefits of having that infrastructure.
What concerns me is the substantial failure of the Kyoto protocol that has compromised the carbon trading market and this will influence the implementation of better practices in the developing countries.

In 1997, you founded Entsorga, a company that in just a few years has managed to provide its own brand and profile in the waste management sector. Which are your company’s vision and objectives, and which is the special character of the solutions you offer?

Entsorga has developed its own technologies for Composting, Mechanical Biological Treatment, Solid Recovered Fuel production and Anaerobic Digestion. Our solutions are scalable, modular and ranging from the best state of the art to more easy and affordable solutions dedicated to situations where high treatment costs are not sustainable. The market is driven by parameters like the cost of fossil fuels, disposal gate fees, and environmental consciousness. All of these 3 parameters are moving in a way that makes for a more competitive future for our technology. The cost of fossil fuel is increasing due to a world eager for energy, on top of that it is subject to high speculation that is inflating the prices. Landfill fees are increasing everywhere due to more stringent regulatory requirement, landfill are also less accepted by stakeholders. In general environmental consciousness are pushing toward better environmental practices. For all these reasons I really believe our sector will continue to flourish.
We believe our sector is becoming more and more globalized and this has become the religion of our company. We are present in more than 20 countries in the world and our mission is to be able to supply our products nearly everywhere.
It is our intention to be capable to offer to each situation the best value for money solution counting on the references we have put together in fifteen years of activities that make our technologies “proven and bankable”.

The issue of exploiting the organic waste content in the residual waste flow is rising, both in the EU and worldwide policy. How do you see the future of management in this sector? Which are the parameters that favor the application of composting systems for managing residual waste, and which are the potential constrains?

Organic waste was “the” problem and thanks to the latest technologies we are capable of using it to produce power and high quality compost. But when we refer to organic waste intended to be used this way we mean the source segregated organic waste, in respect to residual waste it is our opinion that the organic fraction in it is too polluted to make this possible and industrial process to extract valuable products. In the nineties a lot of plants tried to produce compost from unsorted waste but they failed as the final product wasn’t meeting the required parameters. On the other hand the fact that the residual waste still has a non-negligible content of organic waste makes it possible to use the biological energy in it to activate an aerobic fermentation that develops the heat that we can use to dry out the waste and produce, with a further step of mechanical treatment, a high quality SRF suitable to replace coal in some industrial processes. We strongly believe that this solution has so many advantages from the environmental and economic point of view that worldwide it will be implemented more and more worldwide in the coming years. The actual restraint is the fact that the SRF is still waste and cannot yet be traded as a commodity. The topic is quite controversial and it involves big financial interests, but the push towards the declaration of end of waste is getting much stronger.

With the rise of developing markets, there has been also an emergent need for technologies and practices that can solve their significant waste management problems. As their waste management challenges different from the usual situation in developed countries, what kind of solutions you consider appropriate for these markets?

The big news of the last 4 years is that as some global industries are eager for alternative fuel and are willing to pay a price for having a reliable SRF stream. As a consequence MBT technologies to produce SRF from MSW have been proven to be viable also in such countries with lower gate fees when compared to Europe. This opportunity is quite important as this practice, which is already in compliance with the best environmental regulation in Europe, is market driven rather than by regulation or subsidies. We are taking on the challenge and we are rapidly moving forward in these markets.

Read 3751 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 January 2014 11:27
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