The subject is worthy of debate. Although the improvement of waste organic content recovery is a shared objective, vigorous discussions sometimes take place about what waste is concerned and the means required to organise its “return to the soil”. It is exactly the subject matter proposed for a discussion with all players around the table of Workshop 4 of the Assises.
“ Nobody questions the interest of the return to the soil of the organic part of waste, but there are complex issues that sometimes cause things to be held up, depending on the nature of such waste, and that need to be tackled head-on”, said Jean-François Bigot, Director of Major Projects of Séché Environnement and facilitator of the Workshop. “We need to discover the reality and understand the diversity of answers that have to be given.”
It is well known indeed that the treatment of green waste or of waste from food industry seldom causes a problem. Likewise, the management of biowaste of large producers of the food and restaurant industry or of retail industry more often raises collection concerns than treatment concerns. However, the debate is much more complex for the sludge from urban sewage – as to the best treatment, traceability –, or for composts derived from household waste – as to how separate collection needs to be organised once waste streams have been reduced and what obligations – of means or of results – need to be introduced.
“To move forward, to understand why some defend the subsidiary principle versus possible European rules, and to overcome reluctances, it is obviously very useful to be more knowledgeable of all stakeholders’ analyses, which are far from unanimous. In particular through the presence of representatives of the farming world, we will gain a better overview of farmers’ analyses, known for being varied, with non-neutral differences, depending on products, crops or regions”, Jean-François Bigot explained. “Likewise, there is a need for clearer overview of what other stakeholders like local governments or economic players think of their obligations. Lastly, we must learn from how this issue is tackled in other European countries”.
Jean-François Bigot said that with stakeholders anxious to express their views on regulatory issues, concrete examples and the various concepts, the discussions in the Assises might be lively: “The interest of this workshop precisely lies in how it is likely to contribute to bring the discussion out in the open.”
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