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Going the extra mule: Animals help Italians collect their rubbish

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One of the three mules collecting garbage in the historic town of Artena.
One of the three mules collecting garbage in the historic town of Artena.   -   Copyright  Euronews
By Euronews

The Italian town of Artena, about 30km from Rome, has found an effective and creative solution with no environmental impact to waste management: mules.

Mela, Gioia and Pastora are the three mules walking the streets of Artena's centre, helping men to collect the garbage of the town's 13,000 people.

The pedestrianised town centre, perched on the foothills of the Lepini mountains, is the biggest of this kind in Italy with six kilometres of steep climbs and descents.

The area is free of vehicles due to its steep incline but the alleyways are open to the Bucci family's mules.

"My father and my uncle taught me everything and I passed all my experience to my son. Uphill, downhill, tight turns, mules are intelligent and they do the turns well," said Emilio Bucci, owner of the mules.

The mules carry bags full of rubbish, effectively doing the collection service in the historic town centre.

Recycling is also available in Artena, as mayor Loris Talone explains.

"With the mules, we have obtained very good results, more than 80% of recycling has been reached. We had this idea because everything that is transported out of the old town center is now transported by mules," Talone noted.

The service is truly sustainable: no rubbish trucks, zero noise and zero emissions. Even animal droppings are collected by mules driver, an all-round ecological operation.

Watch the full video report in the player above.

Additional sources • Eurovision