Green Cities Fit for Life

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Parisians start food waste programme

16th April 2014

Restaurants in Paris are preparing to introduce a new system of organic waste collection. This initiative will precede a new law which will force French food outlets to recycle their organic waste. By collecting organic waste, the initiative aims to facilitate the exploitation of biological waste, an important component in the production of biomethane. Vegetable peelings, leftovers and coffee grains will be used to produce biomethane once the new scheme is put into place.

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The new regulation includes hotels, restaurants and cafés, which produce 10 tons of food waste per year, an amount equal to approximately 180 meals on a daily basis. This law will be introduced by 2016 in order to exploit the huge amount of biological waste that is produced each year in the country.

Since 2012, France has forced businesses to recycle their organic waste if they produce over 120 tonnes of it per year; however that threshold will be gradually lowered and will also include canteens, hospitals and other collective kitchens.

From 2014, recycling is required for anyone producing 40 tonnes of waste per year and from 2016 this will go down to 10 tonnes (some 33 kilos a day), which will cover restaurants with some 150 servings a day. By 2016, the French environmental legislation will force up to one in five restaurants to recycle their organic waste or face fines of up to €75,000.

The Paris pilot project is financed by French environmental agency Ademe and restaurant union Synhorcat. The project aims to collect 200 tons of waste in the next six months and expects that over 25,000 restaurants in Paris will join the scheme before the regulation comes into practice.

European Green Capital

Waste production and management is one of 12 indicators assessed by the Jury for the European Green Capital Award. Efficient, effective waste management and treatment is fundamental to a Green city. The city that is chosen as European Green Capital is a city that already demonstrates a well-established record of achieving high environmental standards and that is committed to achieving ambitious goals for future environmental improvement and sustainable development.