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The In.Te.Se project: a model for organic waste management in dispersed areas

Description: 

The In.Te.Se (Innovation Territories Services) project, sponsored by Interreg, aims to create a model for organic waste management in dispersed areas.

In the test (tourist) areas straddling the mountainous border between France and Italy, where there was initially no separate collection of organic waste, a new service of collective/individual composting has been introduced thanks to the supply of manual or electromechanical composters.

In the two countries, new decentralised composting services have been designed and implemented for domestic and community users, tailored to the local areas:

  • In France 540 composters for domestic use have been installed, as well as several composting sites for restaurants, hospitals, shops and schools.
  • In Italy electromechanical composters (capacity between 5-25 tonnes/year) have been purchased and installed for domestic/collective use, depending on local needs. Three manual composters have been installed in mountain huts.

Local authorities, associations and the commercial sector (especially hotels and restaurants) were deeply involved in the planning phase, with meetings and public communication and information campaigns on local composting.

The key factor for the success of the project was stakeholder engagement, i.e. close cooperation with local trade and hotel associations, local authorities and waste collection companies. In France, project partners also trained maitres composteurs, i.e. volunteers supporting individuals and promoting local composting solutions.The involvement and activation of a local influencer was also crucial in rural and mountain communities.

 

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Main results: 
  • Good potential for local management and reuse of organic waste made directly by users (individually and collectively), reducing the environmental impact of organic waste on the overall waste cycle.
  • Thanks to domestic composting, 105.67 tonnes of organic waste have been converted into 31.72 tonnes of compost for use as fertiliser or soil conditioner which is directly available for vegetable and flower gardens.
  • Significant cost savings thanks to domestic/community composting.
  • In the mountain areas involved in the project in Italy and France, there is now no need for organic waste collection, meaning that trucks do not need to travel up the Alpine roads and down to the industrial composting plants.