It should be accompanied by tax incentives for those that participate
On the first day of Recuwatt, dedicated to the local world, a large majority of the speakers considered that door-to-door collection is the best system to implement in order to achieve the results demanded by the European legislative framework on the recycling of municipal waste for 2020 and 2030.
By 2020, 50%, and by 2030, 65% of municipal waste must be recycled. Today, apart from some municipalities that operate a door-to-door system, the percentage from traditional communal rubbish bin collection is between 40% and 50%.
Those Town Halls that are using the door-to-door system report much better results, in some cases waste recycling is above 80%.
Public administrators, as well as the private sector agree that door-to-door collection is the way forward in order to reach the goals that the European Union has set on percentages of recycled municipal waste.
It is accepted that the operating costs of the two systems (communal rubbish bin collection and door-to-door) are not the same, and, according to the experts, although in principle the door-to-door system is more expensive, it produces better results in the administrations and in the population as a whole, because there are tax incentives (for example a decrease in the levy for disposal), which could later result in a reduction in public service taxes, a system that already exists in those municipalities which operate the door-to-door method.
The experts claim that the immediate future involves implementing the door-to-door system, and they recommend doing it with transverse actions in place from the public administration, the most important being political consensus, as well as raising awareness, and a civic commitment to want to do things well.
The examples of the aforementioned municipalities which already use this system support this claim, not only because of the results in terms of recycling, but also because of the economic return for the citizens.
The Catalan Waste Agency also confirms this, and has announced that the new Law on Waste will establish a system which means those who recycle more will pay less: disposal will be taxed more and good recycling practice will be rewarded.
According to Josep Maria Tost, director of the Catalan Waste Agency, data shows that for the last 4 years Catalonia hasn’t moved from an average figure of 40% recycling municipal waste, and therefore action must be taken if it wants to meet 65% in 2030.
Tost argues that to improve these percentages, and given the results of the municipalities that have incorporated door-to-door (despite the difficulties that arise in some cases), it’s evident that we must give Town Halls incentives so that they begin adopting this system progressively, taking into account all pertinent factors such as the orography, urban layout, and collection frequency of every village, town or city. Tost emphasised that these factors “can never be used as an excuse for not making the change”.
According to the experts, a successful door-to-door model is one which is agreed upon by a large majority of the population, has a sufficient political consensus so as not to be used as an electoral weapon, and has a solid preliminary study behind it, which allows, from the beginning, the solution of possible problems of urban layout and orography which will arise as the system is implemented.