Solutions to adjust taxes to actual waste generation

New technologies allow to deploy waste collection systems that reward the efforts made by people, commerces, bars, restaurants and industry to reduce their generation and to sort their waste. Zamudio will weigh which is the most suitable way to take advantage of them in the context of its participation in the Waste4Think European project.

Over the next months, and as part of its involvement in the Waste4Think European project, Zamudio will test some technological solutions known as Pay As You Throw (PAYT) systems. Work will be carried out along with citizen groups and will gather people’s impressions on these instruments and their deployment, which usually includes the setting of a fixed cost and a variable one to the taxes on waste collection. This allows to reward people making an effort to cut on their waste production and to sort their waste.

Waste collection and disposal accounts for a big amount of total citizen resources. For this reason, more and more european municipalities are deploying systems to encourage citizen involvement in waste prevention and in waste sorting. One way to achieve this is by adjusting collection taxes to the real use of the service made by citizens or households. Thus, each person pays depending on the waste they generate and on how they dispose of it, and the more they sort it and the less they throw to the non-recycling bin, the less they will pay.

These are known as ‘Pay As You Throw’ (PAYT) systems and they are proved to be very effective to gather citizen involvement. For this reason, in the context of the Waste4Think Project in which it is taking part along with three other european cities, Zamudio will weigh the suitability of these tools, taking into account citizen’s impressions through work groups.

Berlin, Brussels, Munich, Viena and Dublin are some examples of cities that have already adopted such systems.

Depending on the collection service scheme in the municipality, there are different ways of deploying them. In places where the scheme is not door-to-door, systems usually consist of a magnetic card that identifies each user and allows them to open the waste bin and make use of it. Taxing methods then include options ranging from those which charge either the amount of waste disposed of (if bins are equipped with a weighing system) or the volumen (when bins are equipped with a determined chamber system for each use).

One of the main goals of the Waste4Think Project is precisely to make the most of the power of new technologies to encourage citizen involvement in increasing selective waste collection and in reducing waste generation. PAYT systems will therefore be one of the solutions discussed in work groups in Zamudio, weighing their suitability for the municipality and the best way to deploy them.