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Smart Recycling Vision Case


November 17, 2016

Public Financial Management (PFM) plays a significant role in smart government. FreeBalance is developing numerous “vision cases” to describe the intersection of PFM and “smart”.

Many cities testing one bin recycling, bag charges at grocery stores, intelligent recycling bins, private contractors, incentives and revenue generation schemes. A holistic approach that measures costs and environmental results is needed to sustain programs. Human behaviour does not always follow plans where so-called ‘best practices’ from one city may not work in others. Citizen engagement and empowerment needs to be part of recycling initiatives.


  • Recycling Objectives: targets identified through citizen engagement aligned with government goals
  • Hackathons: technology-enabled solution sets developed, winners become pilot projects
  • Pilot Projects: pilot projects budgeting & implemented
  • Measurement: devices measure amount of recycling, and recycling compliance
  • Activity-Based Costing: total cost for pilot projects compared
  • Results: progress of pilots, environmental and financial results exposed
  • Hackathons: new technology products for monitoring and improving recycling encouraged
  • Analytics: the combination of financial information in GRP systems and smart device information enables projecting financial and environmental benefits when scaled
  • Planning & Implementation: successful pilot projects are scaled
  • Activity-Based Costing: total cost for expanded projects compared with pilot
  • Results:  environmental and financial results exposed, adoption rates compared
  • Nudge: transparency with gamification gains higher levels  of recycling compliance

The integration of PFM, open government and digital devices provides the “smart” in Smart Government:

  • Citizen-centric: engages civil society for ideas and hackathons while focused on real human behaviour
  • Data-driven: collects information from sensors, and financial systems
  • Performance-focused: aligns with government goals and evaluates initiatives based on real costs and returns
  • Long-term: creates an environment of continuous cost, security and environmental improvement
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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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