90 Seconds of Science – EP. 400 Célia Ferreira – LIFE PAYT: With this tool you will be able to save on the sanitation tariff

With tests taking place in five municipalities, this tool will evaluate a system for taxing municipal waste based on the amount of waste that each person produces. Who is recycling and is producing less waste will pay less at the end of the month.​


Célia Ferreira, researcher at CICECO – Materials Institute of the Aveiro University (UA) and at CERNAS – Research Center for Natural Resources, Environment and Society of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra (IPC), is developing the LIFE PAYT project with the objective to promote recycling and reuse of waste among the Portuguese population.

“The tariff model implemented in our country does not encourage recycling or waste reduction. In our daily lives, we discard a lot of glass, plastic and paper waste that ends up in the rubbish bin instead of being placed in the recycling bin where they could easily be sent for recycling”, she points out.

This project is testing a different way of taxing waste where the less waste we throw away the less we will pay. To pay less, for example, we can separate the packaging waste by placing it in the recycling bin, use reusable packaging or buy products containing less packaging. We can also do home-composting or reduce food waste, for Célia Ferreira there are several ways to reduce the amount of waste.

“In this specific project, we are testing new waste collection equipment and new waste containers, in five municipalities, which are suitable for this tariff system. We are choosing the most appropriate technologies to transmit data and also to understand the behavior of the citizens in relation to this new system ”, she reveals.

According to the researcher, currently people are not aware of the amount of waste they produce. With this project it will be possible to measure the amount of waste that each person produces. In addition, people will have access to this information, in order to cause a strong impact on the behavior of each citizen.

“They become more aware of the amount of waste they are producing and therefore will be more careful with their behavior and in their daily lives”, she adds.

In Portugal the life PAYT project will be tested in Lisbon, Aveiro and Condeixa. This project will also be tested in two municipalities in Greece and Cyprus.

Learn more about the researcher at: CICECO | CERNAS