Blois, a Town Dedicated to Urban Hygiene

Major material and human resources are mobilized to ensure the cleanliness of public spaces and effective waste collection in Blois; these common priorities are everyone’s business.

Making the City Cleaner

  • 54 women and men in the Urban Hygiene Unit
  • 3 275 tons of waste treated
  • 150 tons of dead leaves treated
  • 1 529 trash cans emptied
  • 14 614 containers emptied
  • 183 km (115 mi.) of roadways covered
  • 74 (185 acres) of covered sidewalks
  • 31 (77 acres) of outdoor parking space covered
  • 6 242 Hours weeding the streets without pesticides
  • 400 000 bags to replenish dog toilets
  • 5 managed lavatories
  • 11 managed self-cleaning public toilets
  • 1 000+ deleted tags

Rendre la ville de Blois plus propre : les agents du service Propreté à l’œuvre

Making Blois Cleaner: the Town’s Work Has Been Rewarded

Over recent years, Blois has received official recognition from the French association of towns for urban cleanliness (AVPU, link in French): a first star in 2016, a second star in 2018. A third and then a fourth star will be sought over the next two years.

  • Mechanical sweeping of the roadways, sidewalks, parking spaces and designated areas (schoolyards, stadiums, activity centers, traffic education facilities);
  • Mechanical washing of these sites;
  • Manual sweeping of the sidewalks, pathways, staircases, gutters, etc.;
  • Emptying the garbage bins;
  • Manual washing of the narrow lanes, staircases, arcades;
  • Cleaning and washing of the collection centers (points propreté);
  • Maintenance of the dog toilets and replenishing of the bag dispensers;
  • Deleting of tags;
  • Detachment and removal of posters, notices, stickers;
  • Interventions for accidents and water flow (ditch cleaning, pipes, drain obstruction, etc.);
  • Removal of illegally dumped refuse;
  • Cleaning of sanitary facilities, fountains, trash baskets;
  • Cleaning of markets;
  • Cleaning before and after demonstrations;
  • Transport and evacuation of waste collected in public spaces;
  • Weeding of roadways and sidewalks applying the “Zero pesticide” principle;
  • Collecting of dead leaves;
  • Snow removal and sanding of the town center;  
  • Processing of requests addressed to the rapid intervention service (SIR)

Please note: The Urban Hygiene Unit does not intervene on the banks of the Loire; like all other riverbanks in France, Blois’ is statutorily cleaned by its official owner, the French State.

The Urban Hygiene Unit’s Equipment

  • 2 street sweeping machines;
  • 1 sweeper for schools and their surroundings, bike paths, town center pedestrian zone and side streets;
  • 1 washer;
  • 4 sidewalk sweeping machines;
  • 1 multi-bin truck;
  • 3 trucks;
  • 14 light utility vehicles.

Zoom: Voting Ashtrays

Twelve years of decomposition and 500 liters of polluted waters; that is the woeful outcome of a carelessly discarded cigarette butt. In Blois, original voting ashtrays are strategically located. Thanks to two transparent bins, each butt thrown into an ashtray can be counted in a poll on a whimsical question (“Do you prefer math or French?”, “Coffee or tea?”) and thereby encourage environmentally friendly behavior.

Waste Collection and Treatment

On the average, a person residing in the conurbation produces close to 240 kilograms of refuse a year. Collection and treatment of these waste products is carried out by Agglopolys, which covers the 43 communities of the Blois conurbation. Each year, more than 25,000 tons of household garbage are collected by 19 dump trucks that cover 66,000 km (41,000 miles). Other refuse is collected in 105 waste-sorting stations and 2 treatment centers (10 in the conurbation).

What Becomes of the Collected Waste?

The refuse collected in Blois is either recycled or incinerated. As regards incineration, the energy generated from waste covers the heating needs of 7000 lodgings; it also covers the incineration plant’s own electricity needs, and the surplus is resold to power the electricity grid.

As regards recycling, the refuse undergoes a process of transformation, on completion of which, for example, 27 plastic bottles can manufacture a fleece sweater, 8 food cans a saucepan, and 3 cereal boxes a shoebox.

As regards glass, there is no limit to its recycling potential. That said, it matters that when thrown away, waste products be correctly sorted out. Follow the sorting-out guide (in French only, on Agglopolys website).

In Blois, Waste Products Are Sorted Out

Between 2008 and 2015, the proportion of trash increased by 35%. However, no less than 100 shops and stores took concrete measures to reduce their detritus by means of composting, combatting waste, privileging reuse and prioritizing repair. Check (in French) the shops and stores that have the label (PDF · 4 Mo) « Écodéfis ».

Zoom: More Hens, Less Trash

Each year, one hen can devour as many as 150 kg of certain food leftovers and peelings, which generally occupy 33% of the volume of a garbage can and contain 50% of its overall weight. Rather than throw them out, why not give them away, provided that you possess a garden?

Thanks to Agglopolys, since 2018 a possibility has arisen: You are entrusted with two hens and a henhouse for your garden, and are even taught how to take proper care of the poultry! The operation is known as “Hens added to my garden, trash subtracted!” (link in French) It is a way of showing one’s smarts by wasting less.