Innovative Solution for Regional Waste Management Utilities (RWMU)

Developing sustainable waste management systems, aiming at very demanding reuse/recycling targets and contribute to promote a circular economy, constitutes a great social problem. The individual behavior and the need to improve the citizen attitude to waste production and waste separation, the development of economic incentives that flow across the full chain of waste management, the performance monitoring of waste collection and management systems with credible mechanisms and the transformation of waste into useful raw materials, results in an opportunity to generate qualified jobs, and promoting abetter environment.


This requires a new approach to waste management, and this Consortium offers to consider waste in the same way as energy has been redefined as a resource to be managed in the past 20 years and to make use of new blockchain based technologies to provide incentives for the key stakeholders and the citizens to change their behavior, making sure that this is based on accurate data. This approach is supported by developing an innovative IT tool “Bee2WasteCrypto” that contributes to empower Regional Waste Management Utilities (RWMU), as the facilitators of decentralized and customized solutions and promoters of new citizen behavior in terms of waste generation and handling.


“Bee2WasteCrypto” facilitates the quantification and characterization of waste production at the source with high resolution scales, to facilitate Pay As You Throw (PAYT) schemes, together with the use of blockchain technologies to produce credible information that will support the proliferation of “recycling rate credits” based on the performance of each RWMU in relation to national recycling rate targets for each material stream (an analogue of carbon credits in the energy sector) and the subsequent purchase of “recycling rate credits”, from the low to the high performers”, enabling nations to have a scheme to encourage RWMUs to optimize their management .


As schematically shown in Figure 1, this approach could be implemented via “Tokens” that promote economic incentives according to each country/region policy. In addition, the individual citizen (via the municipal waste producer) would also be compensated for behavior aligned with reducing waste production or in separating waste. Achieving this requires use of detailed accounting systems (like blockchain) and secure payments, for which the Consortium will explore use of crypto currencies. This will provide a unique tool to promote the “revolution” that the waste management sector is calling for.

Figure 1 – Use of “Tokens” and “Recycling permits” as incentives for citizens and utilities to contribute to national waste management targets, making use of blockchain technology

In order to facilitate the public adoption of the methods to be implemented, a specific tool will include the development of a tailor-made conceptual model for understanding how the new waste management schemas are adopted and used by the citizens, to prevent rebound effects after a new schema is implemented in place.


This IT tool is designed to include another major innovation, which consists of a “data driven waste management system design” module intended to provide RWMUs with the best set of waste processing technologies for their specific waste characteristics, amounts of waste to be processed and also considering any desired outputs to be obtained from waste processing, such as compost if there is the need for fertilization in agricultural areas, or even liquid fuels in the context of urban areas. This tool will be of enormous added value as it will not only provide a large database of available technologies and their economic and environmental performances but also will combine the chain of subsequent technologies, including collection, sorting, waste transformation, final destinations and production of raw materials out of waste and calculate the minimum cost scenario, given local environmental constraints (for example minimum recycling rates or maximum organic materials deposited in landfills).

This will provide the user with an IT tool to optimize the specific waste types that are characteristic of a region, and suggest innovative strategies to manage and process waste, transforming it into useful resources – new raw materials, contributing to a circular economy. This includes considering waste storage, as in energy, in order to make the economics right.


These new strategies are based on abundant ICT components that are scattered across different uses, which will now be integrated in waste management – sensors to support “pay as you throw” systems, “meters” at the household, collection truck, among others. Also “demand response” type technology, where price signals can be sent that incentivizes materials kept in storage to be collected. Imagine, as well, that through advanced blockchain technologies the citizen could be individually compensated by making use of a digital currency from the recyclable or reusable waste that he generated. These are behavioral transforming technologies that this project is aimed to contribute through the development of an innovative IT tool.


This means there are many, and diverse opportunities for improvements. Everything from finding materials processing technologies that can be cost-effective or even to make fuels out of biodegradable waste in gasification driven processes at a local level, providing distributed (local) and customized solutions to solve global and complex problems to the development of digital solutions intended to change individual behavior towards more sustainable waste generation and recycling, constitute opportunities that are explored in this project.

Figure 2 – Bee2WasteCrypto concept illustration

Bee2WasteCrypto, will be the first ever IT tool to provide a fully integrated solution to design waste management solutions from waste production to waste transformation in useful resources, at a local level, maximizing the economic dimension and minimizing its environmental impact, under a circular economy framework.


Furthermore, Bee2WasteCrypto will contribute to change behavior of citizens encouraging them to adopt recycling and waste reutilization habits, through the payment of tokens, increasing in that manner the waste economic value. In this way waste management companies can leverage their business, giving part of their profit to citizens contributing to acircular economy and a more sustainable environment. The flowchart below illustrates the concept of Bee2WasteCrypto.


Innovative Solution for Regional Waste Management Utilities (RWMU)

Discover how to promote more sustainable waste production and separation behaviors.