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Media-Com _2

The European Network for Measurement and
Characterization of Household Waste1(Réseau Européen de
Mesures pour la Caractérisation des Ordures Ménagères):
defining an analysing and quantifying method for
household waste
The REMECOM network was created in 1995 at the initiative of ADEME 2, out of a
desire on the part of the partners in the project – 18 local municipalities in six
Member States – to exchange experiences concerning sampling and analysis of
household waste.
The cities that participated in the activities of this network over three years
aimed to:
- become more familiar with the composition of their household waste, improve
recycling and assess the effectiveness of their sorting schemes,
- to exchange and compare the results while harmonising their data.
This project was subsidised by the European Commission via LIFE, the Community
financial instrument for the environment.
Before a city can begin to recycle its waste and introduce a waste sorting scheme,
it must first conduct a global assessment of flows of household waste, estimate
their composition and identify their source. Once the type and quality of material
to be processed is known, suitable procedures for collection and provision for
treatment of waste can be established. Harmonised measuring methods facilitate
assessment of whether the efficiency of sorting schemes meets the stated
objectives, as well as comparison of results over time.
Documents on REMECOM available
from ADEME:
- Methodological reference:
«How to assess your sources of
household waste. Strategies and tools
from the REMECOM» is available in
English (reference number: 3158),
Spanish (reference number: 3159) and
Italian (reference number: 3160).
- REMECOM network presentation
document: available in English
(reference number: 2393)
from André Gaillard, ADEME
communication service,
27, rue Louis Vicat, FR-75015 Paris.
Tel.+33 1 47 65 24 61, fax+33 1 46 45 52 36,
e-mail :

The REMECOM reference methodology produced by ADEME and its partners at the
conclusion of the LIFE project presents the results of the exchanges of experience
between the partners as concerns validation of methods of sampling and analysis
of household waste. It provides detailed recommendations and methods for
sampling, analysis, interpretation of results and data comparisons for cities
interested in introducing waste sorting schemes. It constitutes a useful tool for
cities that wish to implement a waste management plan or assess the
effectiveness of their sorting schemes.
In 1999, the ACR-AVR (Association of Cities for Recycling), Energie-Cités and
Consorzio Agrital Ricerche implemented the MEDIA-COM project with the support of
the European Commission (DG Environment) and in partnership with ADEME. Its
objective is to promote this methodological reference for the characterisation of
household waste and more generally sound management of household waste. Local
authorities and the media should be most concerned by the described experiences.

Visit the ADEME website at

What is characterisation of household waste?
Characterisation of household waste means measuring the qualitative content, i.e.,
by type of waste, in addition to measuring the quantities generated by a particular waste
source. An effective waste sorting scheme can be designed (on the basis of sampling, sorting
and data processing), implemented and assessed.
The content of waste varies according to national, regional and even local specificities.


The Agency for Environment and Energy Management (Agence de l’Environnement et de la
Maîtrise de l’Energie) is an establishment of the French government under the authority of the
Ministries of the Environment, Industry and Research. It is composed of 26 regional
delegations and is active in the areas of energy monitoring, renewable energy sources, waste
management, pollution (air, soil, noise) and technological research and development.