Implementation of an integrated service to manage waste and incentive charging to reduce the share of biowaste in domestic waste.
This practice comes from a political will of a territorial waste management trade union to reduce operational costs of household waste disposal, that were increasing each year. Prior to the project, waste was collected every week, whereas a study showed that not every household would take trash bins outside for disposal (only 10% would) or that trash bins would be only half full. Mauges Communauté has therefore implemented a waste management program, collecting trash every 15 days in an automated way and invoicing households per number and volume of trash bins treated. Thus households were financially incitated to reduce their quantity of waste.
One of the ways to reduce waste production is to remove biowaste from domestic waste. To allow households to seperate and treat their fermentable waste at source, Mauges Communauté has supplied composters. Households wishing to install a composter had to pay a contribution, 50% of the price being paid by Mauges Communauté thanks to funding from the Environment and Energy Agency (ADEME). 10,000 households have been equipped with composters. The composter came with a user guide, and an advisor was available to explain how to use it.
Today, ADEME funding stopped but Mauges Communauté continues to provide composters and to finance half for households wishing to get one. Thus the number of households with a composter is constantly increasing, and the implementation of collective composters has started.
Investment (trash bins and composters+distribution): 2 800 000€
Human Ressources (FTE = Full time equivalent)
0.5FTE general management&invoicing
3.25FTE phone&physical reception
1FTE distribution&maintenance x 50 000 households
Evidence of success
Thanks to this initiative, households of the territory produce 20kg of fermentable matter/inhab/yr, while the national average is 60kg. Installed composters: 20 collective and over 10 000 individual composters (distributed at 250/yr).
The French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management expresses the will for other territories to implement such measures in order to reduce the share of biowaste and amount of domestic waste.
Difficulty was to obtain the permission of Prefecture to have waste disposed of every 15 days instead of each week. Prefecture was against at first, a territorial community shall be guarantor of public health and hygiene. Prefecture agreed thanks to negotiations with the waste management trade union
Potential for learning or transfer
By 2024, every producer of biowaste in Europe will be obliged to find solutions to separate and treat this waste. Incentive charging for waste disposal proves to be an efficient means of pushing households towards waste separation, reduction, and composting. ADEME proposes financial support and specification notes for territorial collectivities to implement the same system. For this, a political will on a regional and local level must be present, and the initiative must be well-explained ahead of time, if not, it may hamper the transfer, which would otherwise work well on other territories with much of political support. In 2009, 30 French territorial communities were using this system of incentive charging, covering appx. 600 000 inhabitants. Nowadays, it’s 190 additional communities, covering 4.8mln inhabitants.
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