The Paris Region is one of the most densely populated areas of Europe, with 12 million inhabitants in 2012. Over half of the Region’s population lives in Paris and the Inner Suburbs, a highly urbanised and very dense area.

At present, there is no selective collection of household bio-waste in Paris. There have been a few experiments with catering food waste, namely a pilot for selective collection in 80 restaurants, and in school cafeterias of one of the central districts. About 100 apartment blocks and 70 schools also take part in community composting. Selective collection of bio-waste is mandatory for large food waste producers. The current threshold is 20 tonnes per year; those who exceed this must sort and recycle bio-waste. This threshold will be lowered to 10 tonnes per year as of 2016. The French government also plans on making bio-waste collection mandatory in 2025, as outlined in a new draft bill on “energy transition” There are four anaerobic digestion plants in the region which use bio-waste as an input. One of them produces biogas injected in the gas network while the others produce heat and electricity.

Additionally, the Regional Council drafted a plan, voted in February 2014, to promote anaerobic digestion. About 20 new projects are currently being investigated by various stakeholders. However, there are several challenges to overcome. First of all, the high density makes selective collection more challenging. Implementing a plant in a highly urbanised context also raises the questions of available space and public acceptance. Bin2grid will help waste stakeholders from the Paris Region to identify suitable solutions that fit in their specific context, both for selective collection and anaerobic digestion. The project will provide a framework to discuss the potentiality, possible technical solutions and their benefits for the Region.

Bio-waste has a growing importance in the Paris Region as an increasing number of both municipalities and companies are considering its selective collection. Moreover, the Regional Council has drafted a plan to promote anaerobic digestion. Bin2Grid comes at a time when both municipalities and private companies show a growing interest in food waste recovery. The project will help them opt for the most relevant solutions by highlighting successful European experiences.