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An abandoned dump turned into a small green lung

Location of work/project:



Cava de’ Tirreni, Italy


In 2018, a significant environmental recovery and securing plan began for the former municipal landfill of Cava de’ Tirreni, abandoned for more than twenty years and now fully reintegrated into the surrounding landscape. Maccaferri significantly contributed to this important environmental requalification project with its innovative Geosynthetic Multicomposite.

Just a few kilometres away from the Amalfi Coast – a tourist destination famous all over the world for its naturalistic and cultural heritage – there is the former municipal landfill of Cava de’ Tirreni, which, after a period of activity between the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, has been closed and abandoned for twenty years, becoming an “ecological bomb” and a real danger for the local community. Indeed, lacking an impermeable cover, the landfill began to produce leachate, resulting from the mixture of rainwater and waste, often very toxic and polluting, such as beryllium and thallium.

Several municipal administrations raised the issue, going so far as to place the landfill under sequestration after the waters of the nearby Bonea stream were found to be polluted. In October 2018, thanks to an EU grant worth 2.4 million euros, the Campania Region carried out a massive clean-up, environmental restoration and securing project on the area.

Maccaferri was chosen to neutralise a potential threat to the health of people and the surrounding environment. The planned action had two main purposes: on one hand, decreasing the concentration of contaminants in the downstream area, thereby stemming the phenomenon of rainwater infiltration, responsible for the formation of leachate; on the other hand, superficially isolating the body of waste, meaning the so-called “capping”. In order to achieve the latter, Maccaferri proposed the innovative Geosynthetic Multicomposite: a 3 in 1 solution which combines the functions of separation, drainage, erosion control and soil reinforcement. This multi-layer solution not only drastically reduces installation times and therefore CO2 emissions, but also guarantees durability and solidity over time. Maccaferri also covered the base, which used to be a 17 metre high reinforced concrete barrier, with Green Terramesh®. The crowning was carried out with PoliMac® gabions with protection and the surrounding part with Reno™ Mattresses.

The project also gained the approval of local authorities, who appreciated how the former landfill, once an unhealthy territory, has become a green area for the benefit of the entire community.

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