December 5, 2016 / 1:10 PM / 3 years ago

Paris rolls out public waste sorting stations to boost recycling

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris plans to build hundreds of public waste recycling stations to boost the low level of recycling in the French capital, city authorities said on Monday.

Waste recycling is currently done in dedicated yellow bins in which Parisians recycle plastics, paper, metals and glass in their own apartment buildings.

But many buildings do not have space for these bins, or they fill up more quickly than they can be collected, which means a lot of recyclable material ends up in incinerators or landfills. Just 18 percent of all recyclable waste and about 50 percent of food packaging such as plastic yoghurt pots and soft drink cans get recycled, a town hall spokeswoman said.

Following successful testing of a recycling station in one Paris district, the city will install 40 stations in four districts by the end of the year. Following a review of the program in mid-2017, the city aims to install 1,000 to 1,500 stations in the city’s 20 districts in 2018. “The aim is to make sure that people who are not able to recycle in their own building will find a recycling station close to where they live,” the spokeswoman said.

Similar to recycling stations seen in many Italian cities and called “Trilib” after Paris’ famous Velib bicycle sharing scheme, the stations take up about one parking space and can take gather several tonnes of paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, metal and textiles per month.

Eco-Emballages, a French recycling company funded by food and beverage producers such as Coca Cola and Nestle and retailers like Carrefour, will help finance and operate the system.

The 50,000 companies that are members of Eco-Emballages last year contributed 671 million euros ($717 million) to the firm, which uses the funds to help municipalities recycle.

A spokesman for Eco-Emballages said it was estimated the Trilib system would cost about 8 euros per month for each person using it, compared with about 11 euros per month for door-to-door collection of recyclables.

Several other French cities including Amiens, Marseille and are launching similar public recycling facilities, the spokesman added.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Mark Potter

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