PAYT System - Pay-As-You-Throw (Guimarães - Portugal)

Case Study

PAYT System - Pay-As-You-Throw (Guimarães - Portugal)

Guimarães City Council, Vitrus Ambiente and Resinorte joined forces and introduced a new smart waste management system in the historic centre of the city. With the launch of the Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) system, in 2016, citizens and traders have to pay for the garbage they produce, encouraging the recycling of their solid waste.

An electric vehicle collects the trash bags that are left on the street every day, several times a day. Residents and shop owners can leave their waste outside to be collected during the following daily schedule: 7:30, 9:30, 15:30, 21:30, 00:30 (extra collection schedule on Friday and Saturday: 2:30).

This is how the PAYT system works:

- Vitrus Ambiente offers each citizen or organisation in the historic centre of Guimarães a small recycling bin;

- Every user has to buy the garbage bags that he/she will need at Vitrus facilities or when the waste collection vehicle passes by;

- Residents and shop owners must only use the bags they bought to deposit their waste;

- An electric vehicle is responsible for daily waste collection at defined schedules, allowing citizens to deliver their waste directly to the operator of the vehicle;

- It is forbidden to put waste on the street out of schedule;

- Rigorous inspection activities will be conducted on a regular basis.

Before, residents of the city centre had to pay a waste collection tax (based on a percentage) attached to their water bill consumption. With the new PAYT system, the waste collection tax is now associated to the number of garbage bags that are used, therefore residents only pay for the waste they produce. And because the collection of recyclable materials is free, the more you recycle, the less you pay.

Thanks to the implementation of the PAYT system, Guimarães City Council won two awards in 2017: “Best Municipality in the North” and “Best Municipality of the Year in Portugal”. The competition was promoted by UM-Cidades, a platform of the University of Minho. The results of the first year are visible: 34% decrease in unsorted waste and 126% increase of recyclable waste.


Case study city(ies)
Case study country(ies)
Agencie(s) involved in the case

Improved solid waste management;

Improved Bio-Waste management.


Description of the specific objectives:

- Encourage the citizens and organisations located in the city centre to recycle their waste, contributing to a better environment for everyone and a cleaner historic centre.


Guimarães City Council; Vitrus Ambiente; Resinorte.

Smart Solution(s) deployed by the case