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Les résidus organiques fermentescibles en quête de réhabilitation

Abstract : In olden days organic (fermentescible, or biodegradable) residues – including the excreta – were considered “friends (ferments) of the earth”, valuables. The farmers were in quest of nightsoil. The 18th and 19th centuries mark the end of the “golden age” of urban night soil. The project of the new city rejects the waste. Hygienists bring to the fore the sanitary risk and attempt to promote an aseptic environment. Moreover, the manure and the urban compost (in spite of improvements of the composting process) have to compete with chemical fertilizers. The decline goes on during the 20th century. Sorting and composting from mixed households’ refuse give a poor quality product, with a shrinkage of the outlets. The old value becomes a source of increasing cost. Today restoring to favour the fallen and exile is a risky challenge. The image of the urban compost is tarnished. The selective collection concerns mainly the “clean and dry” fractions, whilst the fermentescible organics are considered dirty and filthy. However the compost remains “green gold” for some people and one can observe a revival of bioagriculture and products, in relationship with environmental conservation, sustainable development and healthy food. But this last aspect entails some uncertainties and is controversial.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 10:51:04 AM
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Gérard Bertolini. Les résidus organiques fermentescibles en quête de réhabilitation. Déchets Sciences et Techniques, INSA de Lyon 2001, 23, pp.16-24. ⟨10.4267/dechets-sciences-techniques.1366⟩. ⟨hal-03180603⟩

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