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Garden Waste

Like in most countries in Europe today, burning waste from your garden is now illegal in France. You are not allowed to burn rubbish in the open air, whether that be grass cuttings or branches. You are not allowed to use a garden incinerator either, and the mere fact of lending it to someone could get you a fine today.

It's not just that the rubbish from the garden may give off toxic waste that is dangerous, it's hardly great to be sitting out in the sun and have the waft of smoke coming over from the next door garden because someone's burning the leaves. But it's roughly equivalent to the same amount of Co2 gas given off by a family car driving for 14,000 km. So, do we want to save the planet or not?

The best solution is to use those grass cuttings as mulch around your tomato plants, for example. Get a compost bin, too. It's going to become a legal obligation by 2023 in the European Union, anyway and in France it already is for companies. So, if you haven't started already, do so now. Waste from vegetables and fruit represent in France roughly 25% of all our waste and so compost is a great alternative to just throwing it all away, again. What better source of natural fertiliser exists? There are no set rules for the regulation of recycling kitchen waste in your garden at the present time.

If you do decide to burn that garden waste, then you may get a letter from the local marie, or even the police on your doorstep. There's a fine of 450 euros for doing it that goes with it.

If you want to find out more, then read the Circulaire of the 18th November 2011 that forbids the burning of garden waste in the open air.

If you can't use up all your own garden waste (branches, trees, etc), then you will have to get them onto a trailer and take them to the local déchèterie (dump, landfill site) in your area. In some cities, there are special numbers that you can call and get rubbish picked up by the marie. Green waste, however, usually has to be taken to the dumps. Upon arrival, you will usually have to sign in and declare what rubbish you have come to dispose of. Anyone (even professionals, such as gardners) can go to dispose of their garden waste at the dump. However, professionals of other trades (builders, etc), are not allowed to go and dispose of their waste from work. Private individuals are authorised to do so though.

3 409 000 tonnes of green waste is taken to the déchèteries in France every year at the moment. That's 81% of the green waste, with ta total of 4 225 000 tonnes of green waste in the country).

17% of French people give green, vegetable waste to animals and 39% of them put it into the compost in the garden.

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