The story of Besançon - Zero Waste Cities


The story of Besançon


Besançon and its surroundings have a population of 225,000 people of whom half is living in densely populated areas. Before 2008, waste was incinerated in the incineration plan which had 2 furnaces, one of them built in 1975 and therefore obsolete. That was the starting point of the waste management revamping to make it more sustainable. The political choice not to rebuild an incinerator entails need to both waste prevention and residual waste reduction.

Three main measures were taken:

  • Implementation of a Pay-As-You-Throw system (PAYT)
  • Adoption of a waste prevention plan (-15% of residual waste over 5 years)
  • Development of a decentralised composting system

Now, more than 10 years after the starting point, it paid off:

  • Total waste generation went from 531kg/cap in 2000 to 464kg/cap in 2017
  • Residual waste has been reduced by 77 kilograms between 2008 and 2017
  • In 2016, more than 7400 tonnes of organic waste were composted leading to save around 800,000€ of waste management costs

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