In practice, it means that households have separated waste containers just next to their houses, and are motivated to separation and prevention. In the municipality Březí, mixed waste production was reduced by 48 % within 2 years (2011 - 2012). In Mikulov, where the complete system was put into operation later, income from the company Ekokom amounting to 191 CZK per inhabitant has been reached in 2013 already.
The households are offered several possibilities for voluntary participation in the system.
According to the easiest possibility, they request, to their homes, containers for separation of plastics, paper, and organic waste, having volume of 120 to 240 litres. In this case, waste separation is as demanding for them as putting mixed waste into a mixed waste container. Due to the fact that households separate more waste, costs are saved for mixed municipal waste disposal, and higher income is obtained for separated raw materials. This covers higher costs for collection of the container contents.
Another possibility enables households to obtain a discount from the waste collection fee (local fee paid per person). It resides in that households not only obtain containers for plastics and paper, marked by chips (in the housing estates, citizens may obtain, when paying their waste collection fee, a set of bags for paper and plastics and a set of self-adhesive labels with a bar code identifying their site, or, for example, 20 families can make an agreement and separate waste into containers common for them, having volume of 1100 litres), but they also carry out a so‑called site inventory. It means that they fill in a questionnaire, where they pledge to behave in certain way and confirm correctness of the chip-marked mixed waste container. These measures enable the company STKO to monitor waste production in the individual households, and evaluate whether they behave efficiently. For this, the households obtain a discount from the local fee.
The discount from the local fee is granted for reduction of waste production, for waste separation, and for efficient utilisation of collection containers. It is a sum of three bonuses, credited to the household virtual account after the end of each quarter. It is utilised when paying the fee for the next year - the fee for the respective year is reduced by the fee discount credited to the household virtual account during the preceding year.
On the one hand, the discount amount is based on the volume of the emptied containers with mixed waste, plastics, and paper, and, on the other hand, it depends on behaviour which people pledge to follow when filling in the questionnaire. In the case of the bonus for reduction of waste production, they may pledge up to five ways for reduction of waste production, and, thus, obtain 20, 40, 60, 80, and up to 100% share of this bonus. In the case of the bonus for separation, the share of the bonus is based on the number and importance of the separated commodities (30 % organic waste, 23 % plastics, 20 % paper, 13 % glass, 8 % textiles, 2 % beverage cartons, 2 % small electrical waste, 2 % edible oil).
The design of the fee motivates people, on the one hand, to separate waste, and, on the other hand, to reduce waste production. However, because it is not sufficient to reduce the amount of waste only, it also reduces creation of illegal landfills. The whole system is described in a municipal bylaw (see below the example of Mikulov). Or watch a video.
Thanks to this system, production of mixed waste has been successfully reduced in the region. For example, in the municipality Březí, where the system has been in operation since January 1, 2011, production of this waste has been reduced by 48 % already (see graph). The municipality Březí has 1547 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2013).
Example of the town Mikulov
Description of the system, and basis for calculation of bonuses, may be found in a bylaw of the town Mikulov. The bylaws are available from the town web pages.
Development of municipal waste production in Mikulov is summarised in the following table. the Smart Waste Management System has been implemented in 2013, and supported positive development of the previous years. Positive development of the town waste management from 2010 is obvious from the table. Amount of separated raw materials has been growing, and amount of mixed municipal waste has been decreasing to the level of the most developed countries. Thanks to the high amount of separated raw materials, the town has an above‑average income from the company Ekokom. In 2013, it reached almost 191 CZK per inhabitant already (the average in the Czech Republic in 2012 was 92.70 CZK). It means that it is more than twice as big as the average.
The following table shows the development of incomes and costs connected with waste management in Mikulov. It is obvious that the sum contributed by the town to the waste management has been gradually reduced. The town costs, as well as the town contribution per inhabitant, are below the average. This all is combined with higher comfort for the inhabitants. The local fee in 2013 was set at 600 CZK per inhabitant.
Description of the system, and further information, are available from the company web pages: http://stko.cz/isno.html.
We thank the company STKO for providing data for this article.