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Meet the #EWWRAwards finalists: Festive bio-waste weigh ins for the residents of Les Lilas in France

The EWWR Awards finalists have been announced! In each category, the Jury has selected their top 3 finalists. The winners will be revealed on 15 May in Brussels during the EWWR Awards Ceremony. In the days and weeks to come, we will introduce you the finalists one by one. Today, we would like you to present to you the initiative undertaken by two residents of Les Lilas in France - Marina Seder Colomina and Morgane Robert - to collect data about the waste deposited at two bio-waste sites sites in the city while promoting socialising among residents. This action is a finalist in the Citizen(s) category.

Residents of Les Lilas in France depositing their bio-waste at the collection sites
Residents of Les Lilas in France depositing their bio-waste at the collection sites

What did your action consist of?

Our action consisted of a festive weighing of bio-waste. In the town of Les Liles, France, we have set up two bio-waste collection points in Lucie Aubrac Park (opened in September 2015) and Les Sentes (opened in October 2018). Town dwellers have been bringing their bio-waste to these sites since they opened, but we wanted to have a better understanding of their contents. Therefore, in addition to weighing each bucket of waste, we have been asking depositors to complete anonymous questionnaires with details about the composition of their home, the frequency with which they deposit waste, their address and the potential use of the compost (e.g.: whether they have a balcony or a garden).

To date, between the two sites, we have already collected five complete datasets during Composting Weeks 2018 and 2019, which give us a better idea of the environmental impact of waste reduction, what the profile of the depositors is and the composition of the waste.

How did you come up with the idea?

We organised this action to gather data about the amount of bio-waste deposited and the reduction of residual household garbage in our neighbourhoods, as well as to understand the profile of the depositors, the influence of the composts in the city and the uses (if any) of the compost produced. To take it even a step further, we wanted to see what impact our neighbourhood composts could have on the treatment of waste in our municipality, both from an environmental and economic point of view.

Why is waste reduction important for you?

As citizens, we believe that it is necessary to take action to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Composting is part of these efforts, because about a third of our bins are comprised of bio-waste! The neighbourhood collective composts we set up makes it easy enough to successfully compost bio-waste, but also to influence our neighbours in the long term. Constant exchanges with neighbours amplify the message. Thus, aside from the positive environmental aspect, neighbourhood collective compost is a very good motor for social interactions.

Where can people reach you if they have questions?

We are reachable by e-mail: each compost has its own mailing group and referents’ emails are available (msedercolomina [AT] tutanota.com // morganecompostdessentes [AT] gmail.com).

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