How to improve household waste management?

The 4th edition of the European Week for Waste Reduction, organised by the Ministry for Ecology and the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) will take place from 21 to 29 November. The event aims to raise awareness and rally residents to act on the impact their way of life has waste production. How can individuals act at their own pace? In terms of research, CEMAGREF (the French National Centre of Agricultural Machinery, Agricultural Engineering and Water and Forests) has been working for over 30 years to create more sustainable household or related waste management.

During the last decade, spending on waste management has doubled for French households, reaching over 5 billion Euros in 2006. While the amount of waste produced has stabilised, eliminating and recycling the waste remain key problems. Around half the content of our bins still gets buried in storage facilities. There are multiple challenges surrounding household waste management and processing that require research.

Scientists at Cemagref have been working for over 30 years on household and related waste. This waste, domestic rubbish, packaging, vegetable waste and industrial waste, weighs in at 36 million tonnes per year (2006 data), of which 31 million tonnes come from households.

Several waste management methods currently exist: incineration, composting, recycling, methanation and storage (half of all household and related waste).

Work at Cemagref focuses mainly on waste classification, sorting and collecting, processing using composting and bioactive storage (more recent research), as well as water-tightness of storage sites. The research covers all stages from an economic and management perspective, with the use of economic models to clarify the choice of management methods.

Some research examples for sustainable management of household waste at Cemagref


Practical guide

Implementing an incentive charge for public service waste collection

For further information on the European Week for Waste Reduction:
Ademe website