Improve waste collection and sorting in Valenciennes to optimise costs

Comprising 35 municipalities, the Valenciennes Métropole conurbation is responsible for the collection and sorting of multiple waste across a large geographical area. This includes all household waste, packaging, glass, green waste and cardboard boxes for the retail industry.

The city's objective was to optimise collection door-to-door and at voluntary waste disposal sites to reduce costs and the corresponding impact on the environment.

Given the additional costs incurred by sorting errors, improving sorting practices was also a priority.
The number of inhabitants generating waste to be collected.
tonnes of recyclable waste to be sorted each year.

Combine technical innovation and the raising of local awareness

In June 2012, Valenciennes city entrusted SUEZ with the collection and sorting of its household waste. The objectives were twofold:
  • optimise the organisation of waste collection;
  • reduce sorting errors at the source.
Reduce the fuel consumption of waste collection trucks
Regarding waste collection, SUEZ reorganised the collection rounds with a view to reducing the number of kilometres travelled by 15%. By implementing brake energy recovery systems on the trucks, we also lowered their fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and noise levels.
Raise awareness among the local population
In order to improve sorting practices at the source, we sent out three experts to explain waste sorting guidelines to users. During collection, stickers on the bins indicate common sorting errors. Our experts also carried out door-to-door visits to remind the inhabitants of the importance of sorting their waste and to point out the common mistakes to be avoided. To reach the maximum number of inhabitants, they also spoke in schools, retirement homes, collective housing, etc. 
Increase communication about sorting practices
Users now have access to a website giving them all the information they need on waste collection and sorting.
In addition, satisfaction surveys are regularly conducted with a view to evaluating and improving our services.
SUEZ is also committed to continuously improving recycling performance and to adapting its processes to future changes in waste sorting guidelines in France.

The results

Thanks to innovative solutions, the intervention of experts with the local inhabitants, and its communication in the field, SUEZ enabled Valenciennes city to reach its objectives.

The waste sorting error rate is down to 14.8% following the awareness and communication campaigns, compared with 19.9% beforehand.

According to the results of the regular satisfaction surveys we conduct, 94% of residents are satisfied with the collection and sorting service implemented by SUEZ.
reduction in CO2 emissions and noise during waste collection.
sorting experts in the field to inform and advise the local inhabitants.
communication campaigns carried out each year.