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Eco-mobilier supports the work of AIRE, a Drôme-based player in the social economy

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Following a call for projects to reuse used furniture, Eco-mobilier supported the AIRE association in its work on the second life of particleboard. This project, called "La Fabrique", will lead to the creation of a new range of eco-designed furniture. At this stage, a wood workshop dedicated to the second life of particleboard has been set up, and prototypes of furniture modules have been developed with the integration teams, who have thus acquired new technical skills.

Valence, August 2021 - Eco-mobilier is the eco-organization in charge of collecting, sorting and recycling furniture and furnishing components. Waste prevention through the reuse and re-utilization of used furniture is one of its key priorities, with the aim of achieving ZERO waste by 2023.

As a partner to more than 500 players in the Social and Solidarity Economy, Eco-mobilier launched its first "call for projects for the reuse and re-utilization of used furniture" in 2018. Eco-mobilier selected the 10 most innovative initiatives according to three categories: setting up second-hand materials stores, developing skills and creating upcycled furniture ranges. The "La Fabrique" project of the Trésor resourcerie (AIRE association), located in Die in the Drôme Valley, was selected in this context. "Our ambition is to increase the rate of re-use of used furniture. To this end, it is essential to guarantee the quality of the products sent to social economy platforms and to develop the skills of the employees of these structures," explains Dominique Mignon, President of Eco-mobilier.

AIRE is working on furniture prototypes using recycled particleboard.

The "la Fabrique" project involves the manufacture of a range of furnishings created from particleboard collected and diverted from Eco-mobilier recycling skips. Marketing is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.

This project is based on the creation of a wood workshop within the recycling center, whose sole aim is to recycle particleboard, considering it first and foremost as a new raw material with its own specific characteristics.

"The employees were fully involved in the project. As well as making them aware of their individual responsibility in the production and processing of waste, this project has enabled them to showcase their work at the ressourcerie, in particular by mobilizing their creative and technical skills. They have developed new skills in assessing, among the used furniture recovered during collections, which pieces have real potential and will be given a second life. The staff have also been trained in new dismantling and production tools. "explains Axelle Nick, in charge of project development at the Trésor resourcerie.

Designers were involved in R&D for assembly solutions. Initial technical solutions - with the development of "connectors" - enabled panels to be assembled into stable units destined to become furniture and storage fixtures. The next step was to create prototypes, calling on new technical experts to support the aesthetic aspect of the project.

"The AIRE association's project is particularly innovative and opens up new perspectives for the management of particleboard from used furniture," explains Dominique Mignon, President of Ecomobilier. "With this project, we are taking a new step in our relationship with players in the social economy. We are committed to supporting them, helping them structure their activities and giving a new dimension to their projects," continues the CEO.

About AIRE

Aire is an association for integration through economic activity that joined the Archer group in 2013. It is now based at 114 rue de la Forêt in Valence, as well as in Crest and Die.

As an intermediary association, AIRE provides staff to local authorities and individuals, and runs 4 integration projects: upkeep of natural areas, traditional catering, recycling/resourcery and, since 2020, a team of 16 permanent staff working in reception, recruitment and support for jobseekers.

In Die, the Trésor recycling/resourcery was founded in 1998 at the instigation of a group of local residents. In 2005, the AIRE association took over management of the site. Over the past few years, the team has professionalized the job of "ressourceur": a more attractive store, a precise pricing policy, organization of collection and sorting, implementation of tools to measure activity and trace flows, partnerships with eco-organizations, networking with local structures and communities involved in waste management. With the ARCHER group's support for innovation and sustainable development, AIRE is now embarking on a genuine "100% recovery" process to transform all unsaleable objects and materials in the region into resources.