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Rewarding households in Bergen for sorting efforts resulted in a 9% reduction in collected residual waste

In Bergen, the second-largest city in Norway, the publicly-owned waste management company BIR has had great success with Carrot. Results show a 9% reduction in collected residual waste, and being rewarded with a lower waste fee has proven to be a motivating factor for people in the city.


Pay-as-you-throw

BIR is Norway’s second-largest municipally-owned waste management company. The company is organized as a group and owns its entire value chain, providing unique opportunities for digitization and innovation.

BIR has also been central to the development of Carrot’s software that makes it possible to reward people for sorting their waste; the less residual waste the household disposes of, the lower the fee.

This is made possible by Carrot's software that tracks the amount of waste each household throw away by connecting to access-controlled containers and digital collection registration on the garbage trucks.

Bente Gansum Daazenko, CEO of BIR AS. Photo: Cecilie Bannow

Bente Gansum Daazenko, general manager of BIR Privat AS, explains that by collecting information where waste is collected, they are able to implement the “polluter-pays principle” and thus motivate people to increase their sorting effort. If you throw less, you pay less.

- The introduction of an incentive-based fee model and Carrot’s software has made it possible for us to develop our business models further. This is how the waste industry can participate in future value creation enabled by new technologies, Daazenko continues.

Carrot’s software is designed to simplify administrative processes and connects easily to new methods for registering and monitoring different types of waste. Tracking waste to identify what is eligible for recycling, reuse or repurposing is crucial for creating a circular economy.

Create awareness to motivate the people

The results from Bergen are uplifting: people have become aware of which types of waste can be returned to the cycle simply by sorting better. Increased sorting is both beneficial for the environment and people’s wallets.

- With the introduction of a flexible fee model, we saw a 9% reduction in residual waste and a 28% increase in collected plastic. That is a good development, Daazenko believes.

People also reported experiencing the flexible fee model as a positive measure and found it easier to be environmentally friendly.

Carrot has for a long time worked purposefully to reduce technological complexity and create new systems for sustainable waste management for a long time. By combining smart IoT solutions with customer-friendly services, people at home can be involved and rewarded in new ways. This way, we reduce the amount of unsorted residual waste and capture more of the materials that have value in circular value chains.

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