Benefits of introducing door-to-door separate collection in rural and low populated areas

Abstract: There is a pre-conception that in rural, and isolated areas, the production of recyclable waste (paper/cardboard, metal/plastic and glass packaging) is small, and thus door-to-door collection schemes are not worth setting-up. This work describes the implementation of a pilot test for door-to-door collection of dry recyclable waste at a small, rural site. It aims at improving the knowledge about the waste generated in rural areas and the impact on source segregation habits arising from the implementation of door-to-door collection. The strategy comprised the introduction of individual waste containers and bags at household level with a once-a-week door-to-door collection. The amount of residual waste and dry recyclables was monitored, and the physical composition determined. The recyclable waste more than tripled after implementation of door-to-door collection, from 23 kg/inhab/year to 73 kg/inhab/year. Concomitantly, residual waste decreased from 230 kg/inhab/year to 180 kg/inhab/year. The strategy followed at the test site represented a positive incentive for householders and services to source segregate and produce less residual waste.

The results and analysis of this work can be found here.

The study was carried out in Sazes do Lorvão, municipality of Penacova. The targets of the Municipality of Penacova are within the targets in the PAPERSU of ERSUC, where it was intended that there would be an increase to 46 kg/inhab /year, by 2020, of the selective collection of recoverable waste (packaging, glass and paper) within the scope national objectives of PERSU2020.

The following figure shows the collection calendar with the days and time of collection and information about the materials that should be placed in each mini-bin.

The following stickers were placed in the undifferentiated containers in order to sensitize the population to recycling.