The Municipality of Imola improved the waste collection system based on a Road Waste Collection System
In october 2014 the Municipality of Imola decided to improve the waste collection system and established a permanent working group consisting of:
• The councilor for the environmental policy of Imola Municipality;
• Engineer of the Environment Office Municipality;
• Hera spa (largest local utilities in Italy);
• Environmental Guards.
The reorganization was based on a Road Waste Collection System with different characteristics in some areas (eg In the old town is integrated with a door-to-door collection) mainly based for residential areas in a model called the "Basis Ecological Islands", equipped with a technology that recognizes the customers and unlocks the opening, a Card reading system.

The system is compatible with a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) model applied to Undifferentiated waste bins thanks to:
 Identification of the user by card equipped with RFID, unlocking opening of the volumetric box and registration;
 22 litres the maximum volume of the garbage bag (computerized cap for volume limitation of waste delivery).

Hera spa operates as well in Dozza e Mordano, two small Municipality near Imola. Both municipalities introduced this system with PAYT in 2019.
The PAYT scheme relies on the introduction of pre-paid standard deliveries for residual waste for both businesses and household customers.

In Imola there is also a Collection Centre with 31 different types of deliverable waste, Business Integrative Services and on-demand services at home.

Resources needed

- Costs of new bins,
- Communication campaigns
- Participation processes

Evidence of success

Between 2015 and 2019, the amount of residual waste collected decreased more than 50%, from up to 20.000t to less than 10.000t. During the same period, the rate of separate waste collection increased from 55% up to 75%. The quality of the separated collected materials is high.

The use of the municipal Collection Centre has increased from 57.200 in 2015 to 79.700 in 2019. The system has been widely accepted by the majority of the population.

Difficulties encountered

- Incorrect use of street litter bins or illegal disposal and waste tourism (initially).
- Redefinition of the complete structure of the tax in the PAYT system.
- Needing to improve the cleaning services.
- Needing high standards of container maintenance service.

Potential for learning or transfer

The Road Waste Collection System based on "Basic Ecological Islands" reached high results in terms of participation in the separate collection and high quantity and quality of separate fractions collections.
Where associated to PAYT (Dozza e Mordano Municipality near Imola) the rate of separate waste collection increased up to 90% .
The key tools for its success are:

- participation process, information campaign and initial test period;
- monitoring activities to follow the system functioning;
- freedom for citizen to go to the "Basic Ecological Islands" at any time of the day;
- control and sanctioning of the incorrect use of the system and other bad practices like illegal disposal or waste tourism.

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Main institution
Imola Municipality
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
October 2014
End Date


Marisa Sebastián Please login to contact the author.