On October 1, 2015, the official announcement by the Ministry of Environment took place in Schifflange / Luxembourg. The waste disposal company Lamesch and community representatives started with the widespread introduction of waste locks in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Based on the European Directive 2008/98/EC in Luxembourg, the national Waste Management Act of 21 March 2012 has been introduced in form of the polluter pays principle (PAYT – pay-as-you-throw), as well as the cost recovery principle. The law puts heavy force on waste separation and implies an incentive program. According to the Waste Management Act (Article 13, paragraph 3), private households and apartment buildings/ properties need to be set up with the necessary containers for separate waste collection. These containers are provided free of charge.
The overall goal is to reduce residual waste and to recycle as much as possible. This is not only protecting the environment, but also the wallets of its residents: A residual waste reduction of up to 68% saves citizens up to 66% in disposal costs. In the case of Schifflange, the waste fees for residents consist of a fixed base fee plus an add-on charge per household. Households with only a residual waste bin (excluding waste separation) pay € 13/ month. Households or houses/ properties who separate organic waste, paper and glass, pay 9 €/ month. Houses who have their own internal recycling center - hosted and operated free of charge by the Luxembourg Ministry of the Environment – get charged a monthly fee of 8.50 €.
Similar to regular waste containers, the waste locks are leased to the municipality for a monthly fee by the waste disposal company LAMESCH. Lamesch records data of all waste locks in the country in a central database. Data is collected anonymously and monthly consumption values are transmitted to municipalities/ property managers and/ or operators.
The anonymous data collected will be applied to the respective tenants/ households and then serve as the basis of the polluter pays cost calculation. Thus, the citizens either have the option of a regular 2-or 4-wheel container (our MAWIS system), or a garbage lock with 5,10,15 or 20-liter “containers” (our waste lock system). In the both cases, residents are getting charged based on pay-as-you throw with the solution offered by MOBA. The main impact on the environment is a significant drop of the residual waste and an increase in the recyclable raw materials such as bio-waste, glass, paper, cardboard etc.
The city of Schifflange has now implemented nationwide, as the first municipality in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, this complete PAYT system from MOBA and other climate-neutral improvements, and was therefore awarded with the European Energy Award.