Sotkon is testing the PAYT system in one of the 330 ecological islands of Portimão - EMARP accepted challenge of SOTKON
Sotkon Portugal is testing a system that allows to charges municipal solid waste, following the principal of the polluter-payer - PAYT [Pay As You Throw], in one of the 330 ecological islands located in the city of Portimão, Faro district.
The municipal enterprise EMARP – Águas e Resíduos of Portimão accepted the challenge launched by Sotkon, which already supplies underground containers, to submit to test the "Sotkis - Intelligent System".The "Access" module of Sotkis system allows you to control the deposition and identify users. Each user has a "Smart Tag" identifier, a kind of key that has the data recording, including name, address and tax identification number.
"Each intake bin, of solid waste, glass, plastic or paper, has a latch associated with to an identifier "E-box "and the lid only opens after the identifier is inserted," explained Rui Salgado, responsible commercial Sotkon Portugal, to AmbienteOnlineEach user may place, each time, the equivalent to 30L of mixed waste. "The intention is that users use these 30L of volume available to dispose mixed waste, directing the selective water for its container," explains Rui Salgado.
The selective intake bins do not have deposition limit. There is an access control, as a way to measure the evolution of recycling, but one cannot know the quantities that each user deposits. "Given the size of some packaging, household appliances, for example, you cannot limit the volume," justifies Rui Salgado. The registration data, including time of deposition and type of waste, are transmitted to a remote server and made available to the entity, so they can be processed by computer. Sotkon has its own software control, data processing and issuance of a virtual invoice.
The actual invoices must be made by a licensed program, but the information is also provided by the company, stresses Rui Salgado.Other system modules (Level and Route Planning) can monitor the filling level of containers using volumetric sensors, enabling the most efficient route planning for carrying out the collection of waste. This system is no longer a pilot project as it is in operation in Porto City Hall, monitoring 20 glass containers; in Vila Franca de Xira to control 10 general waste containers. This system will soon be in Cascais, city that ordered 400 volumetric probes to spread on most containers buried in the county. Each family deposit’s 126kg of general waste per month In Portimão, the project started in 2013 and covers 20 families. "Portimão is one of the cities with better results in terms of waste collection and satisfaction of users of underground Community containerization. The system is fully available and accepted by the population, which functional point of view simplifies this pilot project as it does not require any change of habits or behaviors by the population," stresses Rui Salgado. Assuming that each family uses the maximum available volume of 30L and makes the average 14 depositions per month, each family will deposit 126 kilos of solid waste each month, according to calculations established during this pilot project.Rui Salgado ensures that the system can be mass-produced. Several European cities, in Italy, for example, use similar systems.
"The costs will always be huge because the system has to be available for all users. In the particular case of entities that already use Sotkon systems the investments are lower because intake bins with PAYT system are perfectly compatible with older facilities," says. Rui Salgado also noted that there will be applications for Community Funds that will allow to frame such projects and can be seized by the authorities to introduce this system. "The advantage of this system is that, from the hardware point of view, Sotkon already has the know-how to its application and can support any entity in its implementation," he says. Rui Salgado believes it is too early to draw conclusions of the project, but also that users generally agree that - “the injustice of indexing waste taxation to water consumption” should end.The responsible of Sotkon, reveals that is being analised the implementation of new similar pilot projects in Penafiel, Torres Novas and Barcelos. Portimão WANTS YOU TO BE IN THE FRONT LINEThe chief director of waste and urban cleaning from EMARP, Luis Fernandes, remembers that the PAYT system is an objective of the European Union and is part of the PERSU 2020. "Deadlines have not been defined for its implementation but, being an European goal, EMARP is providing the municipality with the infrastructure that will be in the front line when that term is defined". The official representative believes that it makes sense to apply this concept, or another with the same goal, as this system allows residents to pay only for undifferentiated residue deposited on the container. "The more they separate, the less they will pay, as selective deposition will continue to be free paying only the undifferentiated fraction (residual waste, not separated)," noted to the Ambiente Online.
Luis Fernandes points out however that this is an expensive system. "It requires a huge investment which, in our opinion, hardly will get return. It will be part of that range of investments that will only go forward because it is environmentally correct. It's like the decision to buy an electric vehicle. It takes plenty of time to be amortized, but gives the feeling that the decision to buy it was the best thing done for the environment", illustrates.The director believes that few municipalities or municipal companies will be able to accommodate the cost of such an investment without funds being made available for this purpose.
"Let’s not forget that, in order to apply the PAYT, it is necessary to provide the municipality with containers that support these systems. For now, and given the budgetary constraints of this company, we will continue testing PAYT, awaiting for better opportunity to support them," he concludes. / Ana Santiago http://www.ambienteonline.pt/canal/detalhe/portimao