With the data from automatic collection recording and weighing, the transition from volume-based fee to weight based fee becomes easier.
More than 30 municipalities in Sweden use weight-based fee for residual waste, and in some cases also for bio-waste. It is common that municipalities that doesn’t use weight-based fee in general still charge by weight for containers and underground bins.
Weight-based fee works like an economical instrument and allows the customer to influence the cost for waste management. The end-customer pays for her usage of the collection- and waste management system. The more waste generated, the more she has to pay, which creates an incentive to do more of material recycling and thereby climb the waste hierarchy.
Municipalities that have introduced weight-based fee have done so for various reasons. Some of the recurring reasons is to reduce the amount of residual and bio-waste, increase sorting of packaging, newspapers and bio-waste, good statistics and fair charging. Reduced amount of household waste for incineration and waste-to-energy contributes to lower costs for treatment for the municipality, which provides room for lowering the cost for the households.
Studies made both in Sweden and abroad shows that the amount of collected residual waste significantly decreases after introducing weight-based fee.
According to a study conducted at Stockholm University, it is in Sweden in average 30% less household waste in municipalities using pay-by-weight policy compared to the other municipalities in the country.