RFID technology and Blockchain for PAYT waste collection. Miglianico: a “virtuous” case

The mayor of the first town in the world to use the Blockchain for waste collection talks to us about the early days, the benefits and its application 

MILAN, 8th November 2019 Partitalia srl, Italian company operating in the ICT sector since 2001, produces and markets smart cards, tags and RFID readers throughout Europe. At Ecomondo, the circular economy exhibition held in Rimini, the case of Miglianico, town in the district of Chieti and the first in the world to use Blockchain for waste management, was presented during the event “Blockchain and wearable RFID device for certified management of PAYT waste collection”, in which Marco Di Marco, Chairman of the Meditchain Consortium, and Paolo Perego, Researcher from the Polytechnic University of Milan, also took part.

The early days

Between 2015 and 2016, the town decided to implement the European “polluter pays” principle, with the aim of allowing virtuous citizens to save and make less virtuous ones pay their fair share. The town came upon Partitalia in that period. And that’s when it all began: the town council set about organizing the project, information and communication campaigns were run to promote waste collection and, at the same time, the citizens of Miglianico received the containers on which RFID tags were applied, ready for scanning by the “Discovery Mobile” wristband during collection operations. An important step that Fabio Adezio, Mayor of Miglianico, tells us all about: «In 2016, when we opted for PAYT waste collection, we decided to measure all the types of waste, not only – as is often done – the organic and unsorted waste, because we believed that the best solution was to fully manage and control deliveries. If a citizen gives me only dry or unsorted waste, it means he is not collecting his waste correctly and with our type of control we can see this and report any anomalous behaviour».

The economic benefits for the Town 

Called “Virtuous town”, the population of Miglianico is 4,900 and the quota of separate waste collection has reached almost 85%, reducing the total cost of waste collection from around Euro 900,000 to around Euro 660,000.

When the containers were delivered, for 2,200 Tari users, a total tax evasion of Euro 100,000 was uncovered which, divided by five years, meant Euro 20,000 per year to be recovered. Moreover, the introduction of PAYT waste collection in Miglianico allowed virtuous citizens to save 21%. To reward them, each citizen was given a water voucher that allows them to withdraw one litre of water free every day for the rest of their lives. This initiative also contributes to reducing the amount of plastic waste.

Blockchain for waste collection

And then it was decided to apply the Blockchain. To allow us to better understand the “why” and “how”, the mayor adds: «We register waste collection transactions on a certified and authenticated instrument and transfer this information. We are sure that the transactions we transfer to our systems are secure and so citizens can be sure that that is their waste. The next step we will take in the near future is to provide citizens with details of their deliveries, so that they can personally check the data». In this way, we have optimized the management of the waste and data of Tarip users. With Partitalia’s RFID technology and Blockchain, the town of Miglianico has georeferenced data available, with collection date and time references, accurate data per unit and per delivery.

Therefore, this control has allowed us to identify a clear trend: every inhabitant of the town produces 75 kg of waste per capita per year. But there’s more says Adezio: «By simply analysing the deliveries we can see if there are more people living in a house than those reported. With this technology, which is secure and certified, we would like to be able to analyse much more».

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