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Municipality of Varese


Figure 1 - City Hall, “Giardini Estensi”

Main data

Population (31.12.2019): 80,634 inhabitants
Total area (km2): 54.84
Altitude (m; average): 382 m.a.s.l.
Official web site of the Municipality:

  Province of Varese

Figure 2 – The province of Varese in the Lombardy Region

Map of Varese

Map of Varese

Figure 3 – The pilot area of Varese, included in the districts of Bustecche, Bizzozero and San Carlo

Short description

The Municipality of Varese is located in the North-West of the Italian peninsula, in the northern area of the Lombardy region. Varese is the administrative capital of the homonymous province. Most part of the vast municipal area is on medium and high-altitude reliefs and in small valleys, boasting an altitude excursion of over 900 meters. The average altitude is 382 meters above the sea level, while the total surface of the municipality is 54.84 square kilometers. The centre of the city is located in a rather central position of the municipal area; most of economic activities are concentrated in the urban center and in the hamlets of Avigno and Masnago, which have similar urban features. The other hamlets of the Municipality are Bizzozzero, Bobbiate, Bregazzana, Calcinate del Pesce, Campo dei Fiori, Capolago, Cartabbia, Lissago, Prima Cappella, Rasa di Varese, San Fermo, San Gallo, Santa Maria del Monte, Sant'Ambrogio Olona, Schiranna, Velate. The population density is higher in the historic center and in next areas, where there are several tall buildings; in the neighborhoods most of houses are single-family and two-family type.

Waste collection system and tariff regulation (now)

Name of the company managing the waste service: Acsm-Agam Ambiente S.r.l.

Main collection system: door-to-door of each product fraction, both for domestic and non-domestic users.

Type of tariff (before test):

PAYT: no
KAYT: not in use yet

Separate collection rate in 2019 (%): 70%
Amount of unsorted waste per capita in 2019: 151.6 kg/a inhabitant.

Main objectives of the test and expected results

The Municipality intention is to introduce PAYT within a couple of years; before that, the idea is to test the KAYT approach in order to see the potential results gained through an intensive communication campaign.

The most interesting goal and indicators are the followings: behavioral change through economic vouchers and through the sole punctual information campaign; number of citizens engaged with the first letter during the implementation phase (i.e. number of mobile phones gathered); economic value of co-financing by local shops; number of citizens becoming eco-coaches; separate collection improvement in a specific buildings after live meetings and after messaging campaign with and without vouchers.

Short description of the test

The KAYT model to be implemented includes:

  1. A first engagement letter sent by Varese Municipality to the citizens of the pilot area: the letter will contain a description of the project “Riciclo e vinco! (recycle and win!) and the invitation to apply to KAYT sending the mobile number to the platfrom provided by the REthinkWASTE project.
  2. A messaging system: to each domestic users will be assigned a univoque code to be recognized by the platform. The mobile phone numbers collected will be used for sending messaging about personal behaviour on waste and to inform about various issues like for example proper waste differentiation rules, achievement of the whole pilot area, etc.
  3. The engagment of the local shops in the rewarding system: collection of the participation of local shops to be part of the project and therefore make themselves available to get the vouchers that will be drawn at the end of the pilot phase. Local shops will be asked to co-finance the vouchers for citizens in order to have a bigger amount of voucher to be spent for the activities comparing to the project budget.
  4. The mobilization of residents in social housing area by a local NGO: the goal is to collect more mobile phone numbers and involve into KAYT activities also elderly and more emarginated people.
  5. Eco-coaches: they will be in charge of the information activities in the pilot area, to organize some meetings with citizens to check with them the quality of separate collection in their building and to manage the messaging platform adapting the style and the number of messages.
  6. Assignment of eco-points and vouchers: the users will be awarded with ecopoints if they will participate to the project, in particular giving their mobile phone number, participating to personal and collective meetings organized by the eco-coaches, involving other people in the project, improving their behaviour on waste management during the project, being available to become themselves eco-coachers for the maintenance of the good habits learnt during the project. By reaching a certain number of eco-points, citizens will get a voucher to be spent in the local shops engaged.

More information about "Riciclo e vinco!"

About this page

This is a temporary page. The project website will be online soon.

PAYT and KAYT Catalogue

Collection of experiences about pay as you throw (PAYT) and know as you throw (KAYT).



Behind LIFE REthink WASTE there are a dozen of resource management partners, who together form the project consortium. We come from different countries and represent different aspects of resource management. What brings us together is a desire to see municipalities around Europe and beyond improve their waste management. Learn more about each of the partners here beside:

  • ETRA Etra (Veneto, ITALY)
  • ARPAV ARPAV (Agenzia Regionale per la Prevenzione e Protezione Ambientale del Veneto, ITALY)
  • ARC ARC (Agència de Residus de Catalunya, SPAIN)
  • ATA2Ancona ATA2 Ancona (Marche, ITALY)
  • IFEL IFEL (Istituto per la Finanza e l'Economia Locale, ITALY)
  • ACR ACR+ (Association of cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management, BELGIUM)