How can Milan be so clean?

This is a question that we are frequently asked during our guided walking tours around Milan.
Wastebins and sewer cleaning trucks are everywhere, this is true, but the answer is more articulate. Milan municipality has developed a system of waste collection and management so efficient that it has drawn the attention of other city administrations around the world.

This very week, Dennis Diggins, NYC Deparment of Sanitation First Deputy Commissioner, is visiting our city to study the “Milan’s model” and maybe find out the secret that makes Milan Europe’s second best recycling city after Vienna.
New York aims to send zero waste to landfills by 2030, but in Milan only 0,1% of waste ends up in landfills. According to AMSA, Milan’s waste management company, recycled waste accounts for 54% of all waste generated in the first six months of 2016, while in New York it is less than 17%.

Whatever the reason – the closeness to super-efficient Switzerland; the attention of the past and present city councils to the topics of garbage disposal and recycling – every time we are asked “How can Milan be so clean?”, a little spark of pride shines in our eyes.