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Other innovations 16/05/2018

Co-Recyclage: don’t discard, co-recycle!

Co-Recyclage has adapted Lavoisier's famous slogan, proudly proclaiming that "Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything can be reused!"The startup, which specializes in innovative reuse, will join us on May 26 at the ENGIE booth at Viva Technology. Renaud Attal, their co-founder and CEO, gave us an introduction to the digital, solidarity-focused company.

Co-Recyclage is a startup involved in the social and solidarity economy that was created in September 2013 and specializes in reusing furniture, materials and equipment.

Co-Recyclage offers two complementary services that are meant for the general public on the one hand and on the other for companies and public institutions.

For the general public we have created the platform, which is roughly the Cragislist of free stuff. It’s a platform to connect people who want to give objects away to those who who need them and want to use them, all for free. The service promotes global and local re-use while contributing to re-establishing social connections locally. It’s is also available as a turnkey and white label package for communities who want to encourage re-use at the local level, linking residents, re-employment agencies and all local associations.

On the B2B side we offer various solutions for companies and public authorities in sectors as varied as the tertiary sector, schools, hotels and restaurants, but also in events (exhibitions, fairs, corporate events) and the world of construction, building demolition and renovation.

We offer both technologies and support for these areas of activity and operations. On the technology side, we provide tools for doing inventory and diagnostic resources directly on tablets and smartphones.

With these tools our teams can help you document your inventory of all the resources that will be available in an operation, simply and quickly. The tool is also available white-label and can be customized in our customers’ desired specifics so they can efficiently make their own inventories based on their needs.

After conducting these inventories, whether we do it or the customer does it, (with or without our tool), we input the results into our professional platform, which is the nerve center of our B2B business and which involves a network of more than 750 receiversThese receivers are associations of all types: sports, cultural, resource, recycling, various stakeholders in the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS), job reentry sites or companies, young startups, artists’ collectives, shared places, co-working spaces, fablabs, emergency shelters and refugee camps...

Just like when you use an e-commerce platform, the receivers directly choose and order the things they want from the inventories we process for our customers, either for free or for a price.

When our customers are large companies or public institutions we set up a white label platform on site to encourage reuse internally among within different departments, subsidiaries and buildings before making what remains available to our network of receivers.

Our team coordinates and organizes operations, logistics, and handling, ensuring traceability at every stage. Every piece of material that comes out of a company or administration is traced with slips and aggregated reports that allow our customers to get an overall view of what happened, with all the relevant the data about what has been reused internally and externally, quantitative data about the different types of furniture, the quantity of waste avoided, the geographical distribution of the receivers, etc. The data can be a source of value for CSR and for communications purposes.


Are you able to provide the free platform to individuals because of the professional platform for companies, who have to pay to get rid of what they no longer need anyway?

It's a bit more complicated. Our public service currently doesn’t have an economic model; it’s a public utility. But the tool is also available in white label, especially for local governments that want to promote re-use in their jurisdictions with local residents and businesses.

We are conducting a test with the City of Paris on bulk object collection with the aim of avoiding the collection of everything that can still be used like sofas and washing machines. For the city this reduces the volume of costly pickups for objects that mainly end up being incinerated or buried, and propose reusing them locally, whether for residents or associations.

So in short, you’re a competitor of Emmaus?

Not at all! The various Emmaus movements are just part of our receivers network.

We are here to give them the resources they need. Unlike individual contributions, our large-scale operations give us information about our receivers’ needs and we can direct them directly to what interests them. They are the ones who control the process, and they get involved when they need to load trucks of selected material to sell at solidarity prices in their shops.

Some numbers:

Globally, last year we processed 1,380 tons of equipment, of which more than 900 tons have found a second life. The rest has been used for material recycling, for example, made out of equipment or furniture that has been damaged, out of use or not suitable for reuse like such as large office suites that no one has room to accommodate. We are an ESS accredited structure. We work with environmental organizations, audited recyclers and virtuous sectors.

Last year our overall re-use rate was 70% and our activity reduced the CO2 impact of the volume of material treated by 25%.

A slogan that expresses what you do?

We have two slogans, a consumer slogan "Do yourself a favor by helping others" and a B2B slogan: "Creators of virtuous digital tools for re-use".

What are you going to present at Viva Technology?

We will present our digital tools: our platform for the general public and the platform for servicing bulky goods which emerged from an ongoing experiment with the City of Paris. And we’ll also show our B2B tools: the mobile apps to carry out the inventories, the professional platform and its white label version.

These tools didn’t exist before. We developed them and they are specifically designed to optimize reuse. Visitors will be able to test them at the booth.

What do you expect to get from participating in Viva Technology?

We hope that Viva Technology will give us an opportunity to interact with ENGIE teams so that tomorrow no more resources are wasted and that reuse is systematically taken into consideration!

We would like ENGIE to reuse materials in different kinds of operations: relocation, building renovation, fleet changes and more, ensuring that these operations can create value in terms of CSR and communication.

We hope to meet stakeholders from the shared services departments and building managers, public works departments and of course everyone involved in CSR.

For you the future will be ...?

The future will be connected, collaborative and supportive! We contribute to the circular economy with digital services and solidarity in mind, since our primary vocation is above all to provide the resources needed our receivers, who themselves often work in socially-conscious areas.

Read more about Co-Recyclage

Source: Christine Leroy

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