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“Tri Truck”: taking to the streets to educate people about waste sorting


People do not yet systematically remember to sort their household waste. In France, according to an “Observatoire du geste de tri” waste sorting practices survey, only half of people systematically sort their waste. To change behaviours, the Greater Lyon municipality and SUEZ have come up with a new way of raising public awareness with their “Tri Truck”.

Inaugurated on 4 July in Lyon’s 2nd arrondissement, the “Tri Truck” is a fun, innovative concept for educating people about waste sorting. Able to visit all public spaces, such as markets, this sorting truck invites people to take part in an educational game so they can learn how to sort their waste properly. They can also find out what happens to materials once they have been sorted, which many people are still unaware of. Participants need to sort their packaging correctly, putting it in the right units for each type of waste. Posters explaining what happens to materials and real-life items made with reclaimed materials are presented to help people and inform them about waste sorting.

SUEZ, which handles waste collection for six of Lyon’s arrondissements and Villeurbanne, has designed this system to help the Greater Lyon municipality to improve its waste sorting performance levels. The municipality has set itself a target to achieve a further 10kg of sorted and recycled waste per inhabitant by 2017, while reducing the level of sorting mistakes from 30% to 20% for Lyon and Villeurbanne. Indeed, the costs involved with these mistakes are high: for instance, glass bottles that are thrown away in packaging units result in an extra 2 million euros of costs for the city each year.

Following the success of this operation in central Lyon in July, the Tri Truck or Sorting Truck will be visiting other city districts soon and will also be made available to schools that are interested. The concept, which has been registered with the French intellectual property institute (INPI), will also be able to be reused for other municipalities that want to educate their citizens about how to sort their waste correctly.

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