Citeo has published the figures for 2021. The department is slightly behind the national and regional average. But the simplification of the classification, which will soon be extended to the entire Gard, should raise the average.
Citeo, a private company, was created by large distribution and agri-food manufacturers thirty years ago. Its mission is to limit the environmental impact of packaging and household paper. It works with the chain of stakeholders, including local authorities, offering them reduce, reuse, sort and recycle solutions and support for behavior change. It has just released 2021 figures on how well people perform in terms of sorting and recycling. The point with Laure Poddevin, the regional director.
What is the situation in the Gard department in terms of waste classification?
In the Gard, in 2021, each inhabitant sorted an average of 67.3 kg of glass, household packaging and paper during the year. This is a figure slightly lower than the national average which is 69 kg, also lower than the average for the Occitania region which is 71.2 kg. This is explained by the fact that the department is relatively urban like Haute-Garonne and Hérault. On average, we classify twice as much in the city as in the countryside. It is more complicated, especially from a technical point of view, to have sorting containers in collective housing or in the alleys of the city center.
But in any case, these are important numbers. In the Occitania region alone, 420,000 tons of packaging are recycled and therefore do not need to be buried or incinerated. The numbers are rising everywhere and on all packaging.
Why, on average, are the numbers increasing?
Consumers make continuous efforts. In addition, cardboard, with the explosion of electronic commerce, is a material that consumers classify quite well. We also made progress in the deployment of the simplification of the classification gesture that allows neighbors to classify all their plastic containers. For a long time it was just about bottles and jars. They can put the paper containers but also the jars, of yogurt for example, the trays and the plastic films. These are 3 kg per inhabitant and per year more.
How can the Gard catch up?
The classification simplification is currently in force in 75% of Gard, including the Nîmes agglomeration and the territory of Sitom Sud Gard. The good news is that, in accordance with the regulatory requirement, 100% of the territory will be covered by the end of the year, Rhône Garrigues in November, then the agglomeration of Alès and Cèze Cévennes calmly. Some site centers have modernized their tools. Communication and awareness campaigns will be carried out with the inhabitants. However, certain instructions should not be forgotten, such as not fitting the containers one inside the other. It totally backfires when they get to the sorting center.
With this simplification, what are the goals?
In the Gard, we should be able to exceed 70 kg per year and per inhabitant from next year. Since we are proposing a simplification, we expect a domino effect. In France, 72% of the packaging sold is recycled. The classification is the first eco-citizen gesture made by the French. Gradually, it becomes part of the customs of all generations, but supporting changes in behavior takes time and education.