The Environment is Good Business in France

by Virginia Fairweather, Editor in Chief; Civil Engineering, 345 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 3, Pg. 66-68

Document Type: Feature article


The environmental movement is an important political concern in Europe with the Green party gaining ground in several nations. The European Economic Community is developing environmental standards that will cross national borders. The disposal of hazardous wastes could become a political issue. Some countries, Germany for example, export as much as 40% of their hazardous wastes to other nations. Some nations pollute European waterways that flow into other nations. Civil Engineering magazine was invited to France where the environmental engineering business is flourishing. Recycling is widely practiced. There is a growing paper recyling industry and chlorofluorocarbons are beginning to be recycled. The government focuses on source reduction and the burden is on manufacturers to prove they cannot make their product without wastes, especially toxic wastes. An elaborate tracking method is used to document source, kind, transport and disposal of wastes. There is little public opposition to energy-to-waste incineration plants and almost half of France's wastes are incinerated. There are private sector hazardous wastes facilities, and the largest one in Europe is in France. Research on disposal of hazardous wastes is supported by the private and the public sectors.

Subject Headings: Hazardous wastes | Waste disposal | Recycling | Public health and safety | Political factors | Engineering firms | Incineration | Private sector | Europe | France | Germany

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