The city of Besançon has rolled out an extensive system of decentralized composting, managing to cover 70% of its population and to significantly reduce the waste sent for disposal.
26 February 2018
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Zero Waste - the Story of Beçanson

In 2008, Besançon and its surrounding municipalities decided to start moving away from incineration and close the old furnace. A programme based on an extensive use of decentralized composting and pay-as-you- throw fee has put them on track to Zero Waste.

Similarly to the rest of France, waste management in Besançon is organized and done through groups of municipalities. In the case of Besançon, three groups, including the Greater Besançon Authority, are in charge of waste collection for a total area of 1300 km2, with 165 municipalities and 224.186 inhabitants, 85% of which live in the Greater Besançon. These three groups of municipalities compose SYBERT, a joint public authority in charge of waste treatment.

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Zero Waste Europe 

Zero Waste Europe was created to empower communities to rethink their relationship with the resources.In a growing number of regions, local groups of individuals, businesses and city officials are taking significant steps towards eliminating waste in our society.

Looking Forward

The right political will in combination with a clear strategy to cut down on waste and increase separate collection have manage to get Besançon below 150 kg of residual waste per person and 58 % of separate collection. What’s more, Besançon is proving that decentralized composting can play a giant role to drive circular economy while keeping waste management costs low. This makes Besançon the best performing city in France of this size.

These environmental benefits result in local and stable jobs. SYBERT employed in 2016 59 people, to whom we should add those working on waste collection, civic amenity sites, composting houses and other service providers.

Despite the success so far, SYBERT intends to go beyond those figures, and envisions to go below 100 kg of residual waste per person and close the old furnace in 2021. For that, they are planning, among other measures, to:

> Increase the participation in community composting

> Improve the capture of light-weight packaging

> Further promote washable nappies

> Refurbish and enlarge some of the civic amenity sites to be able to get more materials

> Further implement descentralized treatment solutions for bio-waste based on the characteristics of each area

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France
Case study
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