No Data Waste in Košeca

Slovakia

A modern data collection system encourages waste separation and incentivises recycling by reducing waste-collection fees.

THE OLD WAYS OF WASTE DISPOSAL

At first sight, it looks like an average story about waste separation. But this one is much more than that. It's a story about how a village managed to motivate its inhabitants and showed them a better, more sustainable approach to waste production and separation. Before the change in attitude, households were used to throwing their waste in containers in whatever way they wanted. This new system changed just that.

INCENTIVISING WASTE CONSCIOUSNESS

Since 2008, the community of Košeca has been continuously trying to motivate its inhabitants to be more waste conscious. However, real change only came after the new system was implemented in 2019. Nowadays, every household gets stickers with unique QR codes for every bag of waste they take out to the containers, and each container has an electronic chip. Both the chips and the QR codes are scanned during waste collection. In this way, the village keeps track of every household, knowing not only how much waste they produce, but also how well they separate it. And here is where the motivation comes in – the more a household separates, the lower their waste-collection fees. Citizens appreciate the new electronic register, as every household can participate in the system. Consequently, even the most reluctant inhabitants get motivated to separate as much as they can!

ESTABLISHING A LASTING CHANGE

After the introduction of motivational fees, people have naturally become more interested in improving their waste separation rates. Already when the first data was collected to determine those fees, the amount of separated waste had started to grow and the amount of mixed waste decreased by 18% in 2019. These trends became even more pronounced with the introduction of the motivational fees in January 2020. Not only have people's views on sorting changed; their overall perception of their impact of the environmental burden has shifted. And this change in perception is bound to have a lasting impact.

...our planet, our future, our responsibility... our children = the best motivation

Radomír Brtáň - Mayor of Košeca
Project owner
Radomír Brtáň
Mayor of Košeca
Project team
Marek Kurinec
Municipal waste management specialist