Should you get paid to recycle?

Machines that pay you to recycle peru

The Council of Ministers is scheduled to approve today the Waste Bill, one of whose main objectives is to reduce the volume of waste by 15% in 2030 with respect to 2010, and to improve the management of municipal waste, whose recycling rates do not reach the community objectives (50% in 2020). The law – promoted by the Ministry for Ecological Transition, headed by Teresa Ribera – aims to make the polluter pays principle a reality; and in this sense it will oblige manufacturers to pay in full for the recycling of packaging and other products they put on the market.

The future law will extend the responsibility of manufacturers and producers in the selective collection and recycling of packaging and other products (light plastic packaging, bricks, cans, glass, paper and cardboard…). At present, under the current legislation (packaging law of 1997) manufacturers only pay the extra cost of recycling, i.e. the difference between the cost of the procedure for selective recovery of materials (introduced in 1997) and that of conventional waste management (which was already being done by municipalities, by taking the waste to landfills or incinerators).

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Frequently asked questionsWho do I contact if glass recycling is not working well in my city or if I need more information? Contact us. We will mobilize all the means at our disposal to solve the problem.

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If it is a municipality or city where we do not carry out the operations directly and the city council itself is in charge of the selective collection, we will know how to give you the appropriate indications so that you can refer your query.Contact >

The reuse process, like the recycling process, involves transport processes. In addition, it is necessary to use water and chemicals for washing. Therefore, it is impossible to establish as a generality what is more environmentally positive, because it will depend on the geographic casuistry, among other factors.

Doubts about the modelWhy recycle if I already pay my taxes? The garbage tax that citizens pay to the city council corresponds to the service of domestic waste collection not separated selectively and to the cleaning of the streets.

Reverse vending

The best waste is the waste that is not generated. Therefore, the first thing we have to do is to minimize the waste we generate, thus complying with the first rule of sustainability and the Circular Economy.

Everything that is collected from the containers, in what is known as selective collection, is taken to a waste separation plant. And that is where, in the case of packaging from the yellow container, the waste is separated according to the type of plastic.

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PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic, which is found in bottles and other food packaging, is one of the most common, and also the easiest to identify and separate.

At Eko-REC’s recycling plant, several trucks arrive daily (of about 24 tons each) full of what is known as “bales” of bottles, that is, plastic bottles perfectly pressed, so that they take up as little space as possible and the transport efficiency is the best.

The first thing that the recycling machine, where the bottles are introduced, has to do is to correctly filter the garbage that is introduced, since “all that glitters is not gold” and not everything can be recycled. A lot of “waste from waste” is generated.

Machines that pay you to recycle

Pay-as-you-throw consists of applying the ‘polluter pays’ principle or, in reverse, rewarding citizens and companies that make the greatest efforts to reduce and separate waste. In Europe it is a system widely implemented in countries such as Holland, Germany, Belgium or Italy. However, in Catalonia there are still few municipalities that apply pay-as-you-throw, but those that have implemented it achieve recycling rates of almost double.

“Pay-as-you-throw is a model that reduces waste generation and encourages waste separation at source. Through this system, citizens pay in their garbage tax for the waste they do not separate at source. In other words, the less waste is generated and the more it is recycled, the less tax is paid. It therefore makes citizens more aware and responsible and also provides an economic incentive,” explains Jordi Pietx, manager of Ecoembes in Catalonia.

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The implementation of pay-as-you-throw requires two preconditions: identification of the generator and quantification of the waste. Basically, two systems are used for this, one in which the user is identified and the other in which the container is identified. In the first, it is the person who must identify himself before proceeding to dispose of the waste, for example by using a card that will open the container. In turn, this container incorporates a technology capable of measuring the volume or weight of the garbage. The other possible alternative is what is known as door-to-door, with individual garbage bins thanks to built-in chips.