Spain: Increased waste awareness, door by door
June 21, 2023

Since 2013, Vilablareix in Catalunya, Spain has a door-to-door collection system (Vilablareix Porta a Porta). This waste sorting system has helped increase both the recycling of household waste and the citizen sustainability awareness.

Starting almost ten years ago, in October 2013, the door-to-door collection system has evolved into being something natural to the locals. In the beginning the system only managed compostable waste (organic fraction), but has since evolved to include textiles, paper, glass, and other fractions.
Today, it’s one of several waste collection system in use, but it is still important as awareness support. In the meantime, the removal of the older public collection containers from the streets has also improved the public space.

Fee depending on participation
In 2018, Vilablareix municipality introduced a waste managing fee, adjusted to the level of participation in door-to-door collection. Those who participate in the selected collection of organics (and other fractions) gets a deduction from their normal waste management fee. Or as the organisation puts it:

“Do you think it’s fair that we all pay the same waste rate, regardless of whether we recycle or how much waste we generate?”

The municipality’s waste collection/citizen sorting has varied over time. Citizens can currently deposit their clothes on a designated day of the month, after notice in the town hall app. Citizen can also use the waste collection at Punt Verd (Green points), and a few publicly distributed containers.

How it works today

  • The compost/organic material is put in the household brown bin. There are also a yellow and a red bin, for other waste fractions. The brown bin’s waste is collected three days a week.
  • Today the door-to-door system manages some 38 percent of the total waste produced by the residents of Vilablareix. More than 40 percent of the total volume is the original organic fraction.
  • The door-to-door textile collection system has increased the participation in other collection systems.
  • Door-to-door collection has decreased from 2015 to 2020, while Punt Verd collection has increased.