How innovation is serving the circular economy and sustainable resource management in Carcassonne, France

On Friday 6 April, Covaldem11 and SUEZ, represented by AUDEVAL, and in partnership with CITEO, inaugurated the Carcassonne environmental cluster, in an expression of their joint ambition to launch a genuine circular economy on a regional scale by optimising waste recovery and reuse.
The mission

Global performance and circular economy in Aude

In 2016, Covaldem11 awarded SUEZ a 19-year public service delegation contract by creating AUDEVAL*, as part of its drive to develop a global and innovative waste management policy that combines a modern approach, technology and a sense of civil responsibility. AUDEVAL manages the full range of services, from containerisation to collection, sorting, the management of collection centres and final processing.


Optimising waste treatment involves managing waste flows in the entire Aude department, creating innovative recovery solutions and introducing new sorting instructions that help to improve the recovery of recyclable materials. The Carcassonne environmental cluster also hosts several other activities on a single site, including a sorting centre, the Recydrive, the “Grenier” shop and the instructive and recreational Sorting Adventure Centre.


*AUDEVAL was created to manage and oversee this public service delegation contract. The Board of Directors is made up of local politicians and representatives from SUEZ, who adopt the innovative governance policies developed by both parties. AUDEVAL operates two sites: the environmental cluster in Carcassonne and the future Alzonne recovery facility.

Our solution

An innovative, integrated approach to waste management

The sorting centre

The sorting centre sorts the waste from the selective collection rounds on Covaldem11’s patch and from the Greater Narbonne conurbation.

Covaldem11, SUEZ and the Greater Narbonne local authority have adopted an approach that promotes the circular economy by cutting transport and treatment costs, managing the flows of waste across the entire Aude department in a smart and responsible manner, and sharing the sorting tools used by the two local government authorities. For example, the flows from selective collections are sorted in Carcassonne, while the flows of bulky waste are processed in Narbonne.

The Carcassonne sorting centre is equipped with a selection of latest-generation tools, such as mechanical, optical and air separation systems capable of handling almost 6 tonnes of waste per hour. The centre, which came on stream in April 2017, sorts 18,000 tonnes of waste per year.


CITEO provided €2 million of funds for the sorting centre in a tender process as part of its plan to revive sorting and recycling. The facility will improve recycling performance at a reduced cost, while also improving the employees’ working conditions and offering a genuine local sorting centre for the region’s population.


The entire department now has an industrial-strength facility that will soon enable it to respond to CITEO’s calls for projects that aim to extend the sorting process to include all plastic packaging materials. Ultimately, the local residents will be able to sort all their packaging materials, including films, bags, pots and trays.


The Recydrive

The Recydrive is a new-generation public waste reception centre that is easier and faster to use, more convenient and safer. Users only have to make one stop, no matter what type of waste they have to deposit. The recovery agents sort the waste inside a safe building, where it can be stored under ideal conditions. This system guarantees quality sorting of the materials, which can then be recycled as secondary raw materials to make new products.


The “Grenier”

Some of the objects deposited at the Recydrive can be recovered as-is, repaired or reused in a second lease of life. With the support of the Aude department local authority, Covaldem11, SUEZ and the DIRECCTE (the regional agency for business, competition, consumption, labour and employment) have entered a partnership the Parchemin and MP2 Environnement NGOs that promote the social and responsible economy in the region. Their employment support workshops recover, repair and sell objects for a nominal fee in the “Le Grenier” social store.


The Sorting Adventure

This recreational and educational facility is open to school groups and has been officially endorsed by the French Ministry of Education. The centre features a collection of interactive tools that introduce schoolchildren to the notions of sorting and recycling using fun and concrete examples in this innovative universe that offers visitors an original perception of sorting.

The results
work in the environmental cluster
in the Aude department (representing 240,000 inhabitants) covered by Covaldem11’s territory
of collected waste
of recyclable waste sorted per year

The Recydrive

> 10
of waste deposited per day
140 to 250
per day, depending on the season
< 3
the time spent by users at the Recydrive