October 29, 2014


The Paprec/Raboni partnership is a practical example of managing building industry waste in Ile-de-France, innovative and unique in France, applying the law on energy-related and environmental transition.

• The general context:
In France, building and public works waste totals 250 million tonnes a year, i.e. ten times more than household waste. Only 40% of this waste is currently recycled and re-used, whereas the schedule in the energy and environmental transition law has set a recycling rate of 70% by 2020. Building site waste has become a priority and is the key to creating 5000 jobs. It is also a major issue for the environment. Although major companies in the sector are organising themselves, building industry tradesmen have difficulty in finding solutions. The majority of their building site waste ends up going to landfill and is not recycled. It was in this context that the Paprec/Raboni partnership was established in 2004 to set an example and has now been renewed for five years. This is a practical, innovative example of the application of the law. Experience is currently limited to Paris but it could be a lesson to the whole of France and beyond.

• The Paprec/Raboni partnership: a hypothesis is put into practice!
In Ile-de-France, the volume of building site waste is nearly 20 million tonnes a year, 5 million of which are generated by tradesmen. Up till now, the vast majority of this waste went to landfill due to a lack of realistic, practical solutions. For building industry tradesmen, the Paprec/Raboni partnership is today the most effective practical solution for recycling building site waste.
- Killing two birds with one stone, building industry tradesmen can deposit their waste and pick up new materials, all on the same site. This saves time and money.

- A local network. There are twelve working Raboni recycling centres and several more on the way. This local network covers a dense urban area and helps to reduce transport between construction sites and recycling centres.

- Reception and monitoring. At each recycling centre, a full-time Paprec employee receives tradesmen and ensures that waste has been properly pre-sorted.

- Transport via waterways: the waste deposited is taken to Paprec waste treatment centres by barge, where Raboni sites are located close to water. This strategy reduces the number of lorries on urban roads by 45 and seems to prove that water-borne transport can make economic sense over short distances.

- Two factories dedicated to building site waste, unique in France. Paprec has two recycling centres, dedicated exclusively to building site waste: Gennevilliers (92) and Wissous (91). Both of these centres have sorting lines, considered to be the most developed and the most efficient in France. Paprec has invested 5 million euros in these two sorting lines.

- An exceptional recovery rate close to 80%. For the 70,000 m3. collected each year, the recycling rate is close to 80%, whereas, before the strategy was introduced, the recovery of building site waste sent to recycling centres was barely 40%.

A few examples of how waste finds a new life: For plaster, a partnership with Placoplâtre for the re-use of plaster from demolition in new plasterboard. Wood: once ground and refined, it is sent to heating installations or transformed into particle board. Concrete: when crushed, it can be used in road-building. Scrap metal: once chopped, it goes to steel makers and processors to be turned into reinforcing steel for concrete. Cartons: carton-makers turn it into new cardboard packaging. Plastics: once ground and washed, are used as raw materials by industrial plastics engineering companies. Rubble: this inert material is used as backfill for quarries in Ile-de-France or as bedding layers for road-building.

• Joint Paprec/Raboni five-year objectives:
- To remain leaders in waste collection and the treatment of building site waste from tradesmen in Ile-de-France.

- To strengthen the network of professional recycling centres in Ile-de-France and throughout France.

- To promote the use of the river, so that most waste travels by water. Which supposes, for both Paprec and Raboni, the construction of new riverside waste treatment centres.

- To develop related services such as the collection of hazardous waste and WEEE from construction sites.
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