World-class recycling centre

The safe disposal of waste is a growing problem for every country, but one of particular concern on islands with limited landfill space. Guadeloupe’s latest solution is a state-of-the-art recycling unit for plastics and tyres, adjoining a waste-recycling centre near the town of Pointe-à-Pitre.

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“Few European facilities can match the plastics and old tyres recycling quality of our centre in Guadeloupe.”
Ludovic Fiers, Managing Director, Ecodec

The new facilities were conceived and are today managed by Ecodec, a Guadeloupe-based company specialising in household and industrial waste processing. They can process up to 30 000 tonnes of waste a year.

Recycled plastics and tyres

The archipelago of Guadeloupe is a French overseas region. Located in the Caribbean, it has a population of around 405 000 and produces more waste per inhabitant on average than mainland France. Until the construction of the Ecodec facility, almost none of this waste was collected or sorted for recycling.

Ecodec is controlled by Energipole Group, a holding company focused on renewable energy and environmental activities. Today Ecodec has plastics and used-tyres collection centres across the Caribbean, thanks to partnerships with local companies. Its Guadeloupe project was conceived in 2001 in response to the pressing challenge of waste management in the archipelago. Co-financed by the EU, the project also had partners from the French and Guadeloupe public and private sectors.

The main facility has a surface area of some 5 500 m2 and recycles plastics and used tyres. Operational since March 2004, it is located in La Gabarre near Pointe-à-Pitre. The surrounding area is known for its mangrove trees, increasingly threatened by discharges from a nearby waste tip.

The project also resulted in the building of a new collection and sorting centre for household waste, agricultural plastic waste and non-hazardous industrial waste. The centre is continually fed by deliveries from local authorities and companies.

Environmental and health benefits

Completed in 2009, the project created much-needed waste collection and processing facilities for the archipelago. These meet the latest European waste disposal standards. Besides protecting the local population’s health, these facilities contribute to preserving the fragile natural environment – which is a key attraction for tourists to Guadeloupe.

Plastics and used-tyres waste passing through the facilities can now be reused immediately, rather than being incinerated or dumped in landfill sites with the risk of creating pollution. At full capacity, the facilities can process several hundred tonnes of plastics and old tyres a week. These are turned into granulates with a certificate guaranteeing their quality. Recycled material like this can be sold worldwide to make anything from tubes to garden furniture – and all for a cost of around 20% less than virgin material.

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