Initiatives in the field

A quarry that blends in to a residential neighborhood

The Perasso quarry, founded in 1840, produces one million tons of materials per annum. Today, the city has grown up around it, and the quarry is now surrounded by private homes. It has had to adapt the way it operates to take neighboring residents into consideration:

  • Noise and vibration from 140 blasts each year: the face height is reduced and electronic detonators are used to fine tune starts, thus limiting shock wave propagation; the number of blasts remains unchanged, the ground does not shake or tremble, neighboring residents no longer jump with fright.
  • Mud and dust left behind daily by the tens of trucks that cross through a residential neighborhood: before leaving the site, the vehicles drive through a bay that washes their tires and dampens their loads. The water is recuperated and recycled on site.
  • Blending in with the landscape, the site is visible from many of Marseille’s largest tourist attractions (Vieux-Port, Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, etc.): the stone on the quarry bench faces is patinaed and trees are planted on during operation phase.
  • Site acceptance: a neighborhood committee meets twice a year with the quarry team, open house days and school visits are organized on a regular basis.

By working hand in hand, the city and the quarry have made it possible for all citizens to benefit from locally-produced construction materials (lower cost) and from a useful reservoir for rainwater. Not only is storm runoff is now contained, firefighters even used the water to save some of the neighboring homes during a fire in July 2009.

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