Urban waste management

En France, le gisement global de déchets ménagers et assimilés (i.e. déchets ménagers et ceux produits par les activités commerçantes, artisanales et industrielles) collectés par le service public de gestion des déchets s’élevait à 38,5 millions de tonnes en 2011.

The collection and treatment of household and associated waste is generally the responsibility of local authorities.

The policy choices made by local authorities in terms of urban waste management present major challenges:

  • The increasing mechanisation of urban waste management entails a more professional approach which needs to incorporate social considerations, in particular the social integration of individuals in need
  • In a context where the costs of managing waste are constantly increasing for local authorities, technical and financial optimisation must constantly be sought in order to maintain a high-quality public waste management service at costs which are acceptable to the local population
  • This striving for technical and financial optimisation is leading more and more local authorities to pool their urban waste management expertise, which sometimes entails an overhaul of the governance of these public services
  • The development of alternative solutions to simply burying or incinerating everything represents a major economic and environmental challenge (limiting the consumption of natural resources, preserving the quality of soil and water, protecting human health, etc.) for territories
  • Recycling materials, including organic materials for energy, entails an ever stronger collaboration between the waste and manufacturing industries (use of recycled materials in manufacturing processes), theenergy industry (electricity and biogas derived from waste) and the agricultural industry (use of organic composts and soil conditioners derived from waste in the place of chemical conditioners).
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