Where do the data for the proper implementation of pay as you throw waste collection come from?

When implementing pay as you throw waste collection, the data detected by the software for the pay as you throw reading comprises three fundamental parameters, i.e. it comes from the combination of three databases:

  1. Municipal database: this comprises the invoice addressees, i.e. the residential and non-residential users – commercial, industrial, professional and production businesses in general, communities – in the municipality where pay as you throw waste collection is implemented; the residential ones, in turn, can be coded as individual (independent residents) and group (blocks of flats).


  1. Database of the kits supplied to users for waste collection, the nature of which is set by the administration, which distributes, for example, four bins for the four fractions, or four bags, or even two bins and two bags. Each kit must identifiable in an absolutely unambiguous way.


  1. The data read at the time of collection – through the antenna mounted on the vehicle or wearable technology, which read the RFID tag put on the bag or bin – together with the municipal database and the one for the kits provide a standardised string, i.e. standard and compliant with the law. The string shows the date, time and GPS coordinates for the waste collection in a single line, together with the tag ID, which is associated unambiguously with the user.

Ministerial Decree on pay as you throw waste collection: identification of the user and data processing

Article 3 of the Ministerial Decree of 20th April 2017, which sets out the “criteria whereby the municipalities can create pay as you throw measuring systems for the quantity of waste assigned”, clarifies the identification of the user and the processing and storing of the data:

1. The user is identified by the allocation of a personal code that is unique to each user.

2. The personal data must be processed, managed and stored in compliance with the provisions of Italian Legislative Decree no. 196 of 30th April 2003, implementing the “Personal Data Protection Code”.

3. The IT infrastructures for reading, measuring, processing, managing, updating and storing data must be structured to guarantee the exactness, availability, accessibility, integrity, inalterability and confidentiality of the system data and the infrastructures themselves, in full compliance with the provisions of Italian Legislative Decree no. 82 of 7th March 2005, in order to allow them to be easily used, re-used and redistributed, as defined by Law Decree no. 179 of 18th October 2012, for a suitable period of storage, and must be subject to certified security standards”.

Prepaid bag vs RFID identification

In order to identify the addressee of the invoice, the municipalities applying the pay as you throw waste collection system can choose to use the prepaid bag or bags or bins fitted with a transponder (RFID tag).

With prepaid bags – distributed by the municipal administration in a set quantity, enough for a certain period – the general waste is measured, and consequently the invoice is issued, by counting the number of consignments by the user. The bag is provided with a print or bar code to identify the user.

In the bags and elements fitted with a transponder, the waste is measure by identifying and recording the number of times the bin is emptied or the number of times the user has consigned the bag. The process provides that the RFID tag is read by the antenna fixed on the vehicle or the device worn by the operator. The RFID identification records, identifies and localises that data imported by the tag reading to finally issue the invoice; it is therefore not just counting, as in the case of the prepaid bag, since the tag reading adds a set of information to the data, specifying where and when the counting took place and primarily to whom what is being counted belongs, allowing even the most complex processes in the pay as you throw collection to be managed at their best.


In light of this, the wearable device is the perfect solution for implementing the pay as you throw tariff because:

♦ when reading the RFID tag on the bag or bin, it provides standardised data which allows the tariff to be calculated precisely and indisputably;

♦ it is a versatile tool, capable of adapting perfectly to the urban contexts where the passage of the truck is tricky for collection: mountain municipalities and small towns, featuring inclines and impassable roads, the historical city centres with their narrow alleys and covered galleries that represent scenarios that are widespread from the north to the south of Italy.


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