The environment has become a major subject in our society.
Let us recall that this interest was reflected in particular by the creation of Ministry of the Environment in many countries. Likewise, the growing threats to the environment have led politicians and the media, both French and international. (world conferences: Stockholm in 1972, Rio in 1992), to give it importance.
Waste is an inevitable product of human activity, costly and difficult to process, although useful. Consequently, how to understand the management of household waste in the local concerns?
In addition, there is the adaptation of European or metropolitan texts to the local level, which, however, has limits. So environmental issues cannot be approached in the same way everywhere. But what are the obstacles hindering the full application of European standards?
From the environment to household waste
The term environment is frequently used in various situations and on various occasions. These variations sometimes give the concept a complex and vague image as it is used with multiple meanings. Thus, it is important to clearly define the meaning given to the concept of environment. But there is no single definition of the word environment.
Before understanding the behavior of citizens from an environmental point of view, it is essential to introduce a third tool capable of exploring the word environment, which is used in popular language. We relied on a telephone survey of 838 people aged 16 and over.
The objectives were to better understand people’s sensitivity to the preservation of the environment, but also their behavior and their proposals, in this area, through a set of questions centered on the environment and declined according to certain major themes which in fact bring together social subjects such as health, unemployment …
The first question which addresses the representation of the environment is worded as follows: What does the word environment mean to you? First of all, the answers collected are more or less the same and they usually constitute an enumeration of short proposals such as for example the garden, the flowers, the trees…. Only a few answers take the form of a real sentence: the environment degraded by all pollution.
From a first careful reading of these answers, we bring additional elements to their findings:
• 67% of those questioned associate the environment with the living environment. By living environment we mean cleanliness; where you live; what surrounds us; quality of life. The environment here is part of what surrounds us and surrounds us;
• For 42%, the environment is nature, but this word is not the same for everyone. Some evoke a domestic nature (the garden, the flowers…); others the nature of the neighborhood (green spaces, trees …) and the last the nature of proximity (the forest, the river, the mountain.). They essentially evoke a vegetal nature free from
For some people, the term nature has two connotations: natural nature which is similar to the forest, river, mountain, fauna, water, groundwater etc… and humanized nature (the garden, flowers, trees etc…. But, As for the question about the environment, for 42% of the people questioned the answer that comes to mind is that of nature in the Rousseauist sense: these are the landscapes, the green spaces, namely all this organization parallel to the man and of whom we have a somewhat idyllic and bucolic image
• 21% relate the environment to behavior (do not throw away, protect.), To civic notions. It is therefore an environment that must be protected;
The environment and waste management
• For 10%, it is environmental degradation: pollution, nuisance, waste management services … but no qualifier with negative connotations appears as ugly or dirty. Who says environment often speaks of environmental concerns focused on pollution and which therefore appear to be concerns for the environment. If the latter are the focus of attention, it is undoubtedly due to both the media coverage of certain major causes and the globalization of problems.
Indeed, for the sake of information and popularization of environmental data, the media, associations which campaign in favor of the environment, public authorities … have relayed the dangers that are taking hold: the greenhouse effect for example. In this sense, public opinion is indeed this conglomerate made up of problems dealt with by the media, supported by politicians and managed by technicians.
• Finally, 5% associate the environment with more global or long-term concepts such as the future (heritage for children), the planetary dimension (the planet) and expressions like the ozone layer are not ignored.
Addressing the theme of the environment seems to lead respondents to speak abstractly of a very similar universe, that of nature and the living environment. But environmental problems are rarely mentioned, this shows us that for some, the environment is not a major concern since the dramatic or even disturbing surroundings of the environment are hardly visible.