Compost container with a magnetic lock, Source: Ayuntamiento de Getafe

This compost container only opens with a card

This compost container only opens with a card

Getafe starts installing special containers for organic waste that require some knowledge on part of the users

The Spanish municipality of Getafe announced a novel addition to its waste sorting system of trash containers. The brown containers, which are designated to accept organic trash, will now also be present on the streets of this Madrid metropolitan satellite…but they will come with a novelty catch – they can only be opened with a specialized personal card. And these cards will be given to residents after they have completed a course on proper home recycling.

In Spain, organic waste containers are commonly known as the ‘fifth container’

The brown containers are also known as the ‘fifth containers’ as they are the newest addition to the conventional recycling bins: green for glass, blue for paper, yellow for plastic and metal containers and grey for generic waste.

An innovative decision on part of the authorities and the LYMA municipal company who have decided to make sure that their recycling awareness campaign does not fall on deaf ears and that it will actually achieve the desired consequences with the installation of a magnetic lock on the compost containers. This will ensure that residents will carefully think and consider their actions before they throw out the household trash.

This Municipal Government is committed to sustainability and for this it continues implementing its roadmap, offering the maximum facilities for residents to collaborate to achieve zero waste. Equally important is quality recycling, that is why we are at the forefront of the large municipalities in the region and introduced the fifth container, present until now only in Madrid. Yet, in Getafe we ​​innovate with a special opening system, insisting on the good quality of this waste, which is key to recycling,” explained the mayor of the municipality Sara Hernández.

The reason behind this strategy is because there is a plan to convert the household waste into compost to be later used in the city’s park and gardens, as a fine example of a zero-waste policy. The problem with producing compost, however, is that it should not be contaminated with non-organic materials, such as batteries or plastic, which would end up in the soil.

The solution, for the Getafe administration, lies in educating the residents to correctly sort out the waste in their homes. For that purpose, LYMA will organize online courses for willing participants, and it will mail the personal cards to people who have successfully completed the course.

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