How Guadeloupe is turning waste into an asset

A waste treatment facility in Guadeloupe, a French group of islands in the southern Caribbean Sea, has become a world-class recycling centre thanks to ERDF-funding.

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Workers at Guadeloupe’s new tyre recovery facility Workers at Guadeloupe’s new tyre recovery facility

" ERDF-funding has helped build high quality collection and waste treatment facilities that were sorely lacking in Guadeloupe. As well as protecting the health of its residents, the facility is also helping preserve the island’s fragile natural environment - both key for Guadeloupe’s tourism industry. "

Project manager Karen Helouet, Guadeloupe Prefecture

Plastic waste and used tyres can now be processed and reused instead of being incinerated or dumped in landfills – processes that had been causing pollution and threatening the farming and tourism industries.

The facility, which is operated by Guadeloupian recycling company AER, currently employs 30 full time staff near Pointe-à-Pitre. Today, it is exporting recovered materials while ensuring that the island’s environment is preserved. In fact, soil stabilisation materials manufactured from 100 % recycled local rubber and plastic are already on the market.

The ERDF-funding has also meant the company could invest in an improved tyre recovery facility that processes various tyres from construction equipment and agricultural machinery. A new optical sorting line for packaging and industrial waste, which was financed by the French Environment Ministry and the Guadeloupe Region, has significantly improved the sorting speed of the processing centre and increased the amount of industrial waste that can be treated.

Impressive results

In 2012, the plant processed 15 000 tons of industrial waste; 3 900 tons of tyres; 1 800 tons of packaging waste and 2 000 tons of glass. And it intends to continue achieving sustainable results for the whole island.

Treating waste sustainably has become an issue for all countries and especially for islands like Guadeloupe, which have limited space for landfill.

Through gradual expansion via EU and other funding sources, the facility has become the most important site for the recycling and recovery of waste in Guadeloupe.

Total investment and EU funding 

Total investment for the project “Ecodec: World-class recycling centre” is EUR 14 808 100, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 5 356 900 from the Operational Programme “Guadeloupe” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.  

Draft date

04/01/2016