Circular economy: Colas launches construction waste recycling network with aim to boost production of recycled materials by 50% by 2026
11/21/2022 | 12:30pm EST
Paris, November 21, 2022
Circular economy: Colas launches construction
waste recycling network with aim to boost
production of recycled materials by 50% by 2026
Colas has launched a network of 160 construction waste & debris recycling facilities across France, providing two new service offers for professionals in the construction and landscaping sectors called Valormat and Ecotri.
To meet the challenges of preserving natural resources, these facilities are designed to give new life to construction waste and debris thanks to Colas' renowned expertise in the recycling of construction waste and debris.
Valormat and Ecotri, two complementary service offerings that give new life to construction waste and debris
Valormat boasts a network of 160 facilities that can accommodate large volumes of construction waste and debris, sort it and give it new life in the form of recycled aggregates (sand, gravel), which can then be used on new projects. Valormat also treats six regulatory waste streams (paper/cardboard, metal, plastic, glass, wood and plaster).
Treating inert construction waste and debris requires rigorous quality control and traceability as far as incoming raw materials and outgoing recycled materials are concerned. This is why Valormat facilities meet particularly demanding specifications, including obligations in terms of equipment, process and traceability. All materials entering Valormat platforms are weighed, traced, and sorted, then screened and crushed. Aeraulic sorting (by wind tunnel) can eliminate light-weight residue, such as wood, textile or plastic. The aggregates are then analyzed with processes that go beyond what is required by regulation. The materials that are impossible to recycle are sent either to energy recovery units (crushed wood), to specialized channels (plastics or tires), and, in the case of inert materials, reused in development projects.
This activity also offers construction companies the opportunity to buy either natural materials or recycled materials, or even a combination of both recycled and natural products, along with innovative products. For example, the Tersen subsidiary has been offering a new range of "VALOR BLOC" concrete blocks in the Greater Paris Ile-de-France area, made from recycled concrete, designed to meet several types of needs (creation of storage spaces, walls, etc.). Colas is developing two-way freight for its customers, i.e. the possibility of coming to a site to deposit construction debris and then leave with recycled products.
The Ecotri network consists of 12 professional waste recycling units adapted to the needs of builders and SMEs in the building industry, mainly in urban and peri-urban areas. Ecotri units are able to accommodate about fifteen1 different types of waste that are systematically weighed, traced and sorted to be recycled on site or sent to appropriate treatment channels.
1 Concrete, inert soil, A Wood, B Wood, glass, PVC, tires, special industrial waste, etc.
Renowned expertise in recycling construction waste and debris
To continue to offer a high level of service, Colas, a major player in recycling in France, relies on its renowned expertise and know-how in the field, backed by more than 30 years' experience recycling and reusing materials in the road construction sector. Currently, Colas produces 7 million tonnes of reclaimed asphalt pavement per year in France and has set a target of nearly 10.5 million tonnes by 2026.
Giving a new life to construction waste and debris is essential. Recycling saves natural resources, has a lower carbon impact, and offers a local source of supply in regions where resources are scarce but needs are high, such as the Greater Paris area, explains Thierry Méline, VP, France.
The Colas Valormat and Ecotri network includes some 160 facilities covering the entire country, with a potential of 400 sites. This very tightknit local network makes it possible to be as close as possible to jobsites. For example, in the Greater Paris area, there is a Colas facility no further than 10 km from any location (4 sites per department). It also makes it possible to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of recycled materials by reducing transport.
This network also provides a sustainable solution to fight against illegal dumping. Colas' circular economy network has the capacity to support local authorities in collecting litter, then sending it to its sorting facilities or other recycling centers. For example, the Group worked last year in the town of Chanteloup-les-Vignes to help get rid of the largest illegal landfill in Europe (13,000 m³ of waste on more than 25 hectares treated by Colas).
A partnership with France Nature Environnement has also been set up as part of the "Sentinelles de la nature" (Nature's Sentinels), to provide technical support in the treatment of illegal dump sites.
Colas, a subsidiary of the Bouygues Group, has one mission: to imagine, build and maintain sustainable transport infrastructure. Backed by a network of 800 construction business units and 3,000 material production units in more than 50 countries on five continents, the Group's 57,000 employees act locally to connect communities and foster exchanges for today and tomorrow. Colas' ambition is to be the world leader in innovative, sustainable mobility solutions.
In 2021, consolidated revenue at Colas totaled €13.2 billion (54% outside of France).