Accordi sindacali con gli operatori della raccolta puntuale: privacy e accuratezza del dato grazie al Discovery Mobile

In the pay as you throw process, the introduction of wearable technology for reading the RFID tag posisitoned on the bag or bin can generate several objections for the operator:

♦  fear of being checked during the work shift, which is linked to the device’s GPS, which detects the coordinates of the waste collection point;

♦  consequent doubts regarding the violation of their privacy;

♦  worries for health, arising from exposure to electromagnetic fields due to the radio frequency;

♦  fear of having to change the work process: waste collection is a very habitual process, which includes a set of movements that the operator has repeated in the same way for years; thus changing even one parameter can create difficulties.


Trade union agreements with the pay as you throw tariff operators 

If a wearable reader is adopted for implementing the pay as you throw waste collection system, a trade union agreement between the company and the operators consequently becomes necessary to loosen the knots linked to privacy and health security.

Discovery Mobile observes the trade union agreements because:   

♦  It is privacy by default

As required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which became effective in European Union countries on 25th May 2018, the Partitalia RFID device complies with the principle of “protection by default” (Article 25 of the GDPR), since the GPS – which detects the coordinates of the place where the waste is collected – is active, but the position of the object is only recorded by a voluntary action, i.e. when the RFID tag placed on the bag or bin for the pay as you throw collection is read. The position is therefore always detected but never stored, unless though a voluntary action, and the device has no automatic control purpose. Moreover, the ID reader is not associated with the person who uses it on no server or database, guaranteeing anonymity: in fact, when the RFID tag is read for pay as you throw, the wearable device detects data that gives the identification of the device, but not the name of the operator.

Furthermore, Discovery Mobile does not detect sensitive data, complying with Article 9 of the GDPR which prohibits the processing of “personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation”.

♦  It is absolutely safe for health

Annex XXXVI of Italian Legislative Decree 81/08 – “Consolidated Text on Workplace Health and Safety” defines the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate), i.e. the energy specific absorption rate of exposure to electromagnetic fields caused by radio frequency, as the “average value, on the whole body or some parts of it, of the energy absorption rate per unit of mass of body tissue, expressed in Watts per kilogramme (W/kg). Whole-body SAR is a widely accepted quantity for relating adverse thermal effects (health) to radio frequency (RF) exposure”. The Consolidated Text establishes the Exposure Limit Values (ELV) for different frequency intervals: in the case of Discovery Mobile, the ELVs are taken into consideration for exposure to electromagnetic fields at frequencies of between 100 kHz and 6 GHz: the maximum exposure limit (averaged) for a period of six minutes is 0.4 W/kg. The tests carried out by the Sicom Testing laboratories on the Partitalia RFID device for the pay as you throw system measured average SAR values of less than 0.071 W/kg, certifying its absolute safety.

♦  It does not require a change in the work process

The wearable device minimises impact on the waste collection process, because it exploits the naturalness of the gestures carried out by the operator without requiring a change of any parameter and affecting the collection times.

The wearable device as work quality detector

The RFID device for pay as you throw collection acts as a Key performance Indicator (KPI), detecting operator’s work quality, which is determined by: 

♦  Consistency of the detected data

For example, if an operator passes through three quarters of a municipality every day, where there are 1000 users that put out their bag or bin on the same day, there should be 1000 readings at the end of his/her shift. Higher of lower numbers indicate that the data is not consistent.

♦  Accuracy in the reporting of anomalies

The operator is obliged to report anomalies found during the shift, e.g. users that throw glass or plastic bottles into the organic waste. Out of 1000 users, the collection operator may reasonably find, to make a few examples, three/five/seven anomalies; on the other hand, if the number is too high, it means that the work carried out by the operator is not accurate.

♦  Reliability of the data against the putting-out index

The putting-out index is the ratio between the actual consignments and the number of users. If, in a round of 1000 users, 970 put out the bag or bin in a certain period of the year, there is a put-out index of 97%. This is variable data, given that the users do not produce waste as the same speed – e.g. a person living alone fills the general waste bin more slowly than a family of four people – and seasonal, because consumption is influenced by factors like the climate, period of the year, etc. However, it is possible to calculate an average for the put-out index by checking the consignments made by users from year to year in a specific period: reliable data, on average, in a certain period – e.g. summer months – presenting similar trends.

In this sense, adopting the wearable RFID for the pay as you throw collection, which acts as a key performance indicator, is advantageous both for the operator and employer:

♦  the operator has an indisputable tool in his/her hand to measure his/her commitment and show his/her reliability, giving greater dignity to his/her work; the operator can have a financial return from carrying out his/her operations correctly;

♦  the employer has the certainty that the data detected is consistent and reliable; moreover, by rewarding the worker, it starts a virtuous circle that pushes the other operators to carry out their duties to the best.

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