Defra, UK - Environmental Protection

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Research Study on
International Recycling Experience
Annex A
A summary description of Niort and key recycling data are
presented in Table A2.1.
Table AA2.1 Overview of Niort
City Background Details
59 663
Type of area
Type of housing
Houses: 65%
Apartments: 35% (5% of these are concentrated in
the city centre).
Definition of
All domestic waste and commercial waste similar to
domestic & parks and gardens waste.
Recycling target
50% of MSW must be recovered
(energy recovery, re-use, recycling)
36% (1998/99)
Principal recycling
producer responsibility;
good separate collection facilities (organic
public information activities.
Niort was one of the first municipalities in France to
introduce composting of organic waste. Many municipalities
across France are currently introducing recycling systems for
other waste materials, amongst these is Niort.
Figure AA2.1 Quantities of waste collected for recycling
(household and commercial sectors)
Note: The column representing
packaging waste reflects the
packaging collected over the
six month pilot phase.
The column representing packaging waste in Figure A2.1
reflects the results of the pilot collection of packaging waste.
Table A2.2 breaks down this figure into the components of
packaging collected:
Table A2.A2.2 Results of selective collection test for
packaging waste
Total waste delivered
291.46 Materials recovered
Newspaper and magazines
23.43 per cent of the packaging
waste delivered from yellow
bins was residual waste.
The municipality has overall responsibility for the collection
and treatment of all MSW. Collection activities are carried
out by the municipality. The municipality considers that this
allows costs and quality to be controlled more effectively.
Waste sorting of paper and card, and of plastics and metals
has been contracted to a private company. The contract is for
one year and renewable. A three year contract has been
organised for the supply of recycling containers. The
municipality plans to build its own sorting centre within two
to three years.
The municipality is responsible for the composting of organic
waste, but all other collected materials are processed by
private companies. Separated materials are delivered to these
companies, under the national system of financing for
packaging waste, see Section A2.5.
The testing phase for organic waste took place from 1992 to
1994. This test phase involved 1500 households. From 1994
to 1997, the pilot scheme was extended to the rest of the
houses in the area. Up until 1999, recycling points throughout
the city were provided for paper and card, and glass. The
testing phase for door to door separate collection of these
materials ran from May 1999 to December 1999. The testing
phase was set up for houses in the urban centre, estate
housing and a mix of the two, each area covering around
1800 households. The pilot scheme is being extended to
around 4000 households every month in 2000. By June 2000,
it is expected that all houses should be covered by separate
A yellow bin of 120 litres is provided for newspaper and
packaging (paper, plastics and metals). One green bin is
provided for glass collection. A dark green bin is provided for
organic wastes. A final bin is provided for general refuse
collection. A member of the municipality visits each
household and commercial premise to discuss problems
related to lack of space for the bins. As much as possible, the
municipality encourages the person to participate in door to
door collection schemes. Where several households have
space problems, a collective solution is looked for.
Approximately 95 per cent of the households have accepted
the four bins.
As households receive new bins for glass and packaging, city
recycling containers are being removed. Underground
containers are used in the historic city centre, where there is
not always enough room for the additional bins above ground.
It is expected that a container will be made available at a
maximum of 100 metres of each household.
Collection of all waste materials on the same days was
complicated by the difference in density between the various
types of wastes. This idea was abandoned. Refuse is collected
twice a week. Collection frequencies recyclable materials is
as follows:
packaging: once a week;
glass: once a month;
organic: once a week.
Textiles, oils, batteries, household toxic wastes and bulky
waste must be delivered directly by households to civic
amenity sites.
Residents of flats must use city recycling containers. There
are expected to be around 15 to 20 such containers around the
city. This gives a density of 1187 to 890 people per container
for packaging and glass. Separate collection of packaging,
glass and organic waste is expected to be introduced for flats
in the future. It is expected that stakeholder consultation will
take place with householders to discuss the appropriate level
of separate collection facilities needed.
A2.4.1 Participation Rate
There is no data on participation rates in recycling, but
opinions of some staff within the municipality indicate that
the vast majority of the population recycles to some degree.
Companies, under the packaging obligation, finance the
collection of packaging waste through Eco-Emballages, a
private company that facilitates the compliance of the
national packaging target. Companies which join EcoEmballages can use a special label (two green arrows) on
their packaging.[1] Each partner commits itself to take back
the corresponding materials once collected and sorted by the
local authorities. The partners nominate the companies which
will be responsible for recycling.
The prices that the companies pay for collected materials,
through Eco-Emballages are as follows:
Table AA2.3 Prices of collected materials
Price paid (£/ tonne)
137.55 - 555, depending on quantities of sorted materials.
4.50 - 6.40
Aluminium 149
26 - 51
Cardboard 4.50
The municipality processes organic waste itself, at a cost of
FF120 per tonne (£11).[2] The compost is given away for free
to residents.
The average cost of collection, including costs relating to
administration, provision of containers and maintenance is
around FF426 (£39) per tonne for all types of waste.
However, this hides a large variance, ranging from FF268
(£25) per tonne of glass collected through recycling
containers, FF516 (£47) per tonne of glass collected door to
door, to FF 1707 ( £157) per tonne of packaging waste. The
prices paid by EcoEmballages do not cover these costs
entirely. Other forms are support are as follows:
general waste taxes;
Eco-emballages: grants financial support for the
employment of young unemployed people (one
person per 10 000 inhabitants up to a maximum of FF
60 000 (£5 500) per year for three employees);
ADEME: up to 40 to 50 per cent of the investment.
ADEME also provides support for public information
 The Region government provides match funding with
Composting of organic waste is the most significant recycling
activity in Niort. This is largely due to a good separate
collection services and public information activities.
The way in which the message is put across, as well as the
tools used to promote the collection schemes, have been
critical. Niort has found that households respond much better
if they are encouraged to think of the collection scheme as a
service, rather than a responsibility to sort.
The national recycling target is a strong push to consider
waste management options other than disposal. Producer
responsibility has provided a strong incentive to collect and
recycling packaging waste. Tying this responsibility to an
agreement to take back recycled materials provides a market
for the recycled materials.
The Decree of the Ministry of Environment, April 1998,
states that 50 per cent of municipal wastes must be recovered
(energy recovery, re-use and recycling). This Decree is
commonly known as the Decree Voynet.
The national packaging recycling target is 75 per cent.
The VAT on collection, sorting and treatment operations has
been reduced from 20.6 per cent to 5.5 per cent for local
authorities which have put into place a system of separate
A2.8.1 Waste Disposal Costs
Landfilling is charged at FF 400 (£37) per tonne. No
incineration of MSW takes place.
A2.8.2 Charging Systems for Waste Management
Households pay an annual waste charge as a percentage of
the estimated rented value of their housing. In Niort, this tax
varies between FF 700 to FF 800 (£64 to £73). Commercial
or industrial generators are charged on the same basis, up to a
maximum of 1 200 litres per week. Above this limit, the
company is charged a tax calculated on the basis of the
number of bins.
The Municipality of Niort commune has
conducted an active information and
promotional campaign for composting
activities. The following tools and
mechanisms have been used to increase public
the media have been used for
promotional purposes. A press
conference was organised at the start
of the scheme, followed by regular
press conferences and press releases;
public information campaigns;
public meetings in all the city districts;
information distributed through letter
a letter of information twice a year;
guided tours of the composting site;
free helplines.
Separate collection of glass and paper
A letter is sent from the municipality
introducing the scheme, as well as a schedule
of the different collections, a leaflet explaining
the new system and instructions on how to
participate. Posters are displayed around the
city. The operation has also been advertised in
the newspapers. Separate collection begins
two weeks after the bins have been distributed
and the initial educational campaign is
Training is also given to municipality
personnel involved in waste management.
The total costs of public information and
promotion were £53 745 in 1999.
There are no market development initiatives. The packaging
agreement between members of EcoEmballages and the
Municipality provides sufficient markets for recycled
products. See Section A2.5 for more information.
The following actions will be taken to develop recycling
set up a municipally run sorting centre in order to
improve sorting operations (for example, to
incorporate dirty paper to composting raw material)
and promote jobs amongst the unemployed;
 extension of separate collection to cover apartments in
the next two years;
 increasing of the treatment capacity of the composting
station. The treatment surface will be doubled so as to
compost 15,000 tonnes of wastes per year. The
municipality intends to label the final product.
[1] Eco-Emballages works with 5 partners: Sollac (steel), France
Aluminuim Recyclage (aluminium), Valorplast (plastics) and the
Chambre Syndicale des verreries mecaniques de France (glass).
[2] FT 19/04/00 £1 = FF 0.0917
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Published 26 April 2001
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