Microchip Bags and Waste Sorting. A new GLO Discussion Paper by GLO Fellow Matteo Picchio.

A new GLO Discussion Paper finds for Italy that placing microchips on the bags for the curbside collection to reduce the unsorted urban solid waste and increase the fraction recycled is indeed effective.

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Matteo Picchio

GLO Discussion Paper No. 772, 2021

Microchip Bags and Waste Sorting Download PDF
Picchio, Matteo

GLO Fellow Matteo Picchio

Author Abstract: We evaluate the effectiveness of placing microchips on the bags for the curbside collection in reducing the unsorted urban solid waste and increasing the fraction recycled. The microchip allows the waste collection company to identify the users that left the bags on the curb and check whether they properly sorted the waste. Our study is carried out in the Italian province of Macerata (Marche, Italy), where the bag microchips were introduced only in some municipalities in 2013. Exploiting monthly information on waste collection and natural experiment methods, we find that, two years after the programme start, the bag microchip increased the fraction recycled by 3-4:5 percentage points and decreased the monthly unsorted waste by 1-2 kilograms per capita.

GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.