Toulouse. This start-up allows you to track illegal deposits, the nightmare of the elected (and residents)

Start-up SGEvT from Toulouse works with local authorities to better combat illegal dumping. (©DR)

This is the new nightmare of the elected, an unfortunately widespread scourge in the era of sustainable development and good recycling practices: wild deposits.

Mayors on the Front Line

In recent years, faced with a still very present trend, some elected officials no longer hesitate to denounce incivility and publicize their abundance on social networks. In February 2020, the mayor of Saint Jory (Haute Garonne), northwest of Toulouse, had posted his humor on his Facebook page at “this lack of civility”. A month earlier, he’d made it even harder, taking a picture of himself in front of the garbage, and then cleaning it up. And with this message to the perpetrator:

“Also, the technical services that carry out work that are not within their competence: intervening in a private domain to clean. I remind you that the municipality does not have to intervene twice, on the one hand because this competence is metropolitan and on the other hand because the site is private, on the other hand, the happy owner of Conforama invoices with customer code 708498/c24189 will be delighted to know that we found them, so you will receive a fine after the search.

Thierry FourcassierMayor of Saint-Jory

To the east, the mayor of Balma (Alta Garonne), Vincent Terrail-Novès, was also troubled by this phenomenon at the same time, while congratulating himself on having managed to find “the offender” thanks to the camera footage.

As for the mayor of Saubens (Alta Garonne) Jean-Marc Bergia, in July 2020, decided to return the piled up garbage to its true owner!

The remote sensing weapon

Remote sensing is the new weapon against illegal deposits for communities. A niche in which the Toulouse-based start-up SGevT has been working since 2018, a specialist in “assessment for the sustainable development of territories”. The start-up, comprised mainly of data scientists, geomaticians, experts in law, sustainable urban planning, project management and assessment methods, has been at the forefront of supporting communities since the Grenelle de l’Environnement.

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Risk detection and analysis

In these missions, detecting illegal deposits became a colossal challenge for local authorities. In partnership with the CNES (Centre for Spatial Studies), the SGEvT (General Society for the Evaluation of Territories), based at Place Wilson in Toulouse, has put into service a remote sensing solution for wild deposits based on satellite imagery. . through artificial intelligence.

“Wild deposits are a cause of discontent among the inhabitants, and also a dangerous subject. We detect and analyze these deposits in terms of risks to landscapes or groundwater, for example, but also according to their ease or difficulty of access and service” .

Arnaud AndréCo-founder of the Toulouse start-up SGEvT

SGEvT’s Toulousains say they play their role on the outskirts of big cities and in rural areas, where incivility is less noticeable, than in the flow of large metropolises. “Early detection is a real challenge to inform elected officials and refer them to law enforcement,” continues Arnaud André.

Fieldwork related

Artificial intelligence and its algorithms bring up many black spots that can be similar to wild deposits, but the human work remains substantial. “AI brings a lot of false positives and fieldwork is used to verify these results,” says the co-founder of SGEvT.

Access to these photos, stored in the DINAMIS spatial image bank, can generate a cost of several thousand euros each year for the requesting communities.

A recent campaign on Aude

Several communities use the general services of the SGEvT, such as Sicoval, the region of Occitania and, more particularly, the Aude and some Breton territories for the specific problem of illegal eviction. “At the end of 2021, we had a major campaign with the state and the police. The images of landfills collected were, for 100% of them, wild dumps. We were able to prepare dossiers on the premises, ascertain the names of the owners of the land in question…”, specifies Arnaud André.

The start-up works a lot in this territory as part of the European Copernicus program on observing the planet. With Météo France and Toulouse Jean-Jaurès University, assess the risks of flooding for the population and solutions to reduce the speed of water. A territory that was not chosen by chance, as Aude was hit hard by floods in 2018 and then in 2019.

90% reliability rate

SGEvT also works with large manufacturers of state-owned equipment such as RTE (Rede de Transmissão de Eletricidade) on issues such as the acoustic propagation of wind turbines. SGEvT, which has a detection reliability rate of 90%, has set itself the goal of deploying its solution “in a more open 3and quarter of 2022″.


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