Legislation & targets
|According to French legislation, only “final” waste (i.e waste that cannot be recovered in the current economic or technical conditions is allowed to be landfilled). This is the basis for separate collection of recyclable waste such as paper in order to facilitate their recovery and recycling.
Municipalities or groupings of municipalities1 should ensure the collection and treatment of household waste. They can also be in charge of commercial waste if this does not impose any specific technical constraints and with no risks to persons and the environment. Taking in charge commercial waste is done against a fee which is calculated based on the importance of the service or as a lump-sum in case of small quantities. Legislation also foresees to integrate an incentive-based element into the calculation of waste fees.In addition to the EU legal obligations, the national Law on energy transition2, adopted in 2015, foresees that until 2020 public services, municipalities and groupings of municipalities:
– reduce their consumption of office paper by 30% by establishing a prevention plan
– use at least 40% of recycled paper
|In France, there is a national legislation imposing EPR on producers of packaging (including paper and cardboard packaging) and “graphic paper”. Two producer responsibility organisations have been created for both types of waste – Eco-Emballages for packaging and Ecofolio for graphic paper. Trivalis has signed agreements with both of them and SCOM is a member of Trivalis.
|At the end of the 1990s, the Vendée region was lacking waste treatment facilities. Private landfill sites were shut down, whereas public facilities were few and with a limited capacity. In this context, elected representatives of the region created a joint association in order to explore treatment options for household and assimilated waste and possibilities for synergies/ coordination at the level of the region. In 2003, the association named Trivalis becomes operational and takes over waste treatment competencies. In the next years, public treatment facilities have been built all over the region, guaranteeing local solutions. The objective has been to achieve maximum material and organic recovery from mixed residual waste in order to reduce landfilling. Preference is given to mechanical-biological treatment where the output (i.e compost material) is destined for agriculture. Energy recovery facilities do not meet public acceptance and any project of constructing them has been abandoned.
Trivalis is a joint association gathering the 282 municipalities of the Vendée region – either directly or through larger groupings of “intermunicipalities”.
Municipalities have waste collection and treatment competencies. As members of Trivalis, they have transferred the treatment to Trivalis. This competency includes treatment itself, disposal of final waste, as well as transport, sorting, composting or storage.
SCOM Est Vendéen is an association of 4 intermunicipalities gathering 40 municipalities. It is in charge of residual waste collection, separate collection and management of civic amenity sites on its territory. SCOM is a member of Trivalis to which it has delegated waste treatment operations.
|Residual waste is collected weekly door-to-door in a rolling container of different sizes (80 – 660l). It is first put in grey plastic bags before being put in the container. The yearly waste fee covers 12 collections of residual waste; any additional collection is paid for according to a fee grid.
Recyclable packaging (paper and cardboard packaging, plastic bottles, flasks, metal cans, drink cartons) is collected once every two weeks door-to-door in plastic bags.Other paper such as newspapers, magazines, brochures (graphic paper) is collected in bring bank containers. Glass packaging is also collected in bring bank containers similar to those for paper. In addition, there are 4 recycling yards located on the territory of SCOM where citizens can bring their large cardboard waste. Use of these sites is possible within the opening hours to citizens and generators of assimilated waste in small quantities. The users have to be in possession of a special access card which gives right to 12 free visits to the site a year. Above this allowance, each visit is against a charge.
(Via the incentive-based waste fee) households are encouraged to separate their organic/ garden waste. Garden waste (grass clippings, branches) can be delivered to the recycling yard and citizens are offered special reduced prices for home composters.
Service to the citizens:
Citizens are informed about separate collection through the website, yearly guides on separate collection, signs on the containers, distribution of annual collection calendars, telephone hotline, quarterly newsletter, waste ambassadors. There are also information campaigns done in cooperation with Ecofolio and Eco-emballages – those campaigns are specific for the territory of SCOM.
|Collection in bring banks only includes quantities of graphic paper. Packaging paper and cardboard is included in the figures of “Other separately collected waste” for 2012 and 2013. In 2014 and 2015 the amount of paper packaging and cardboard in the packaging mix has been estimated and included in the numbers for DtD collection (for 2012 and 2013 the amount of PfR collected DtD is zero).
It can be seen that the amount of separately collected waste is much higher than the amount of residual waste and that paper represents a rather small proportion of the separately collected waste.
|With 56% graphic paper collected in bring bank containers still represents a major fraction of the generated paper and cardboard. Small paper packaging collected with other packaging door-to-door represents 13% of the total paper and cardboard collected and 18% are big pieces of rigid cardboard collected in recycling yards.
However, consumption trends are changing – less printed media (newspapers, magazines, etc) are being consumed because of digitalisation, while cardboard consumption is on the rise (online shopping). This is expected to affect the ratio in the coming years and possibly also to have an effect on the collection infrastructure and modes of collection.
|Graphic paper (from the bring banks) is going directly to a paper mill (UPM – producer of graphic paper) in the North, with no additional sorting. Paper packaging (from the yellow bags) is first being sorted from other packaging of the yellow bag (metals and plastics) and is then going to a paper mill (Huhtamaki – producer of moulded fiber packaging). Cardboard collected in recycling yards is directly going to a paper mill (Smurfit Kappa – producer of paper-based packaging), with no additional sorting.
87% of collected paper and cardboard are recycled. The quantity found in residual waste is going to landfill directly; there is no additional separation or attempt to recover the material.
|Waste collection and treatment are financed through a specific waste fee. Since 2013, it is based on a pay-as-you-throw principle by integrating a variable part depending on the number of times waste is disposed of (not on volume or weight). The waste fee is composed of 2 parts:
– Fixed: it corresponds to the waste management service and depends on the chosen volume for the residual waste bin. It includes the service of 12 collections of the residual waste bin and 12 visits to a civic amenity site.
– Variable: this part depends on the additional services that need to be used and are charged from the 13th collection of the residual waste bin and the 13th visit to a civic amenity site.
Households are given containers for residual waste which have an electronic chip. The containers are collected by a truck which is able to read the chip and make a record of the number of times they are collected. The information is synthesised in a database.
The same grid of fees applies to households and to businesses.
The cost per tonne for waste collection and sorting was € 553.06 in 2012, while the revenues generated were € 551.89 per tonne of waste. The system was therefore almost full covered (99,8%). The balance is similar for 2015.
|Citizens seem to be very satisfied with the waste management services provided by SCOM . The practicality, reliability and effectiveness of the services are especially appreciated (only one respondent was neutral with regards to this characteristic whereas the rest are very positive). Also the rest of the characteristics – good value for money and high quality – are seen in a very positive light with more than half of the respondents agreeing with this description. Transparency is the only characteristic for which the agreement of the respondents is not as strong, but still there is no disagreement either and the opinions remain positive.
|The citizens state that they are either well or very well informed about how to sort their waste. All of them made this statement for general waste and all except one – specifically for paper and cardboard. When asked whether there is specific information about paper and cardboard waste available, opinions are more divided: 5 answered positively, 5 – negatively and 3 did not know. This might be due to confusion related to the fact that in SCOM and Trivalis in general, different types of paper are collected differently (graphic paper in bring bank containers, smaller paper and cardboard packaging with the rest of metal and plastic packaging in door-to-door bags, and larger cardboard pieces in recycling yards). Citizens usually consider the information available on the website of SCOM and their municipality, on leaflets distributed to their mailbox, as well as the information at the collection points (bring bank containers and recycling yards) and printed on the bags for door-to-door separate collection.
|Citizens also state that they know how to sort their waste and that they have the means to do so (in terms of time, space at home and available collection infrastructure). All of the respondents say they sort they always sort their waste (one replied “very often” instead of “always”).
Apart from citizens, also other stakeholders gave their opinion on the WM system and services in SCOM. Also from their responses it appears they have a rather positive view on the WM services provided. Most of these respondents either strongly agree or agree with the list of characteristics. The WM company seems to have a more neutral stance (his response has been “neither agree nor disagree” for all characteristics).
|Tourism is the main problem for the waste collection and management in SCOM. During the holiday season population numbers are rising significantly and consequently also the amount of generated waste. Moreover, tourists who come from other places do not know about the collection system and rarely respect it. It is not necessarily that they are unaware about environmental problems or do not care about waste management, but the system in SCOM might just be very different to what they are used to – for instance concerning the separation between packaging and graphic paper.
Otherwise, even though several of the stakeholders mentioned impurities and presence of material other than paper, there is low level of impurities/ contaminations from the bring banks, and for the yellow bags only 0.1% rejections (average for 2015).
Littering around the bring bank containers for paper has been stated as a problem.
More information: Guénnaëlle LE HENRY
TRIVALIS – Head of Department “Sorting”