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French city Zero waste case study French city Zero waste case study

The Story of Besançon

Zero Waste Europe released its latest case study on the French city of Besançon, where an extensive system of decentralised composting has been put in place with outstanding results. Today, 70% of the citizens of Besançon and surrounding municipalities compost their food scraps at home or have a community composters in their building or a small-scale composting site next to their house. The diversion of the organic waste from the incinerator has saved €800,000.

While decentralised composting is often perceived as a complementary element of waste management systems, Besançon has made it central to the treatment of bio-waste. This, in combination with a pay-as-you-throw scheme on residual waste, has significantly reduced residual waste from 217 kg per inhabitant in 2009 to less than 150 kg per inhabitant in 2016, with the aim of reaching under 100 kg per capita in the coming years.