A waste drop-off centre is a place where individuals and, under certain conditions, artisans can bring some of their waste in compliance with sorting criteria, with a view to subsequent treatment (reuse, recycling, recovery etc.). It is therefore a waste collection and transfer centre, not a treatment centre, complementing the waste collection process, which is the responsibility of municipalities, for reasons of waste volume or nature.
This concept, which did not exist less than twenty years ago, has developed rapidly: there are currently 3,500 waste drop-off centres, the vast majority of which are operated by municipalities.
Accepted waste varies according to the rules of each waste drop-off centre, based on the prefectural order relative to classified installations (section 2710). This waste generally includes plastics, metals, glass, paper and cardboard, garden waste, electric cells, batteries, tyres, rubble, used motor oils, electrical or electronic equipment waste. There is a rising demand from households to get rid of their toxic waste in dispersed quantity (old paint cans, unused chemical products).
Industrial waste, in particular special industrial waste, is not accepted in waste drop-off centres.
Sorting is carried out so that the waste can be treated in specialised downstream processes, thereby reducing the amount of household waste incinerated or landfilled.
Decree 2002-540 of 18 April 2002 on waste classification.
Order of 2 April 1997 on the general requirements applicable to classified installations for environmental protection with a declaration obligation under section no. 2710: “Waste drop-off centres for the collection of bulky waste, materials or products sorted and brought along by the general public”.