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Envie Bretagne, Veolia and Ecomaison inaugurate a new mattress sorting and recovery unit, the only one of its kind in Brittany.

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Every year in France, millions of mattresses are thrown away, yet 95% of the materials they are made of are recyclable. On Monday, October 2, 2023, Envie Recyclage Bretagne, Veolia and Ecomaison inaugurated a new mattress sorting and recovery unit in La Mézière (35), the only one of its kind in Brittany.

A framework conducive to the development of mattress reuse

Until 2011, mattress management lacked adequate solutions, as there was no dedicated collection and sorting channel. At the time, 55% of mattresses were landfilled. However, with the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for furnishings in 2012, the AGEC Law for a circular economy in 2020 and the Climate and Resilience Law in 2021, the bedding collection and sorting channel has been given new impetus, thanks in particular to the creation of the eco-organization Ecomaison (formerly Eco-mobilier).
Based on the "polluter pays" principle, the EPR recycling scheme requires manufacturers, distributors and importers to finance or organize the prevention and end-of-life management of the products they put on the market. This sector is financed by the eco-tax, a contribution paid by the consumer at the time of purchase. "Eco-participation is precisely what makes this recycling channel possible, a measure that only exists in France",
Dominique Mignon, President of Ecomaison. A vital measure, given that over 4 million mattresses are thrown away every year in France. "Ecomaison has invested in 7 dismantling units in France to set up this industry," continues Dominique Mignon. This new site, like the others, is therefore fed by deposits in waste collection centers and take-backs by sellers or distributors.

Players committed to the circular economy

The Brétilienne unit operates thanks to the strong complementarity of three players who inaugurated this new unit: Envie Recyclage Bretagne, Veolia and Ecomaison.
Envie Recyclage Bretagne, a subsidiary of the Breton cooperative integration group Ressources T, stands out as a key player in mattress recycling and social integration. With almost 10 years' experience, the company has mastered the dismantling of complex products, combining ecological and social commitment with exemplary economic performance. At the heart of the circular, social and solidarity economy, Envie guides people towards a sustainable return to employment, by offering personalized career paths, despite the challenges associated with social exclusion. Envie Recyclage Bretagne is carrying the entire investment for the new site. Veolia, a specialist in waste recycling and recovery, is acting as agent for the contract, and is responsible for collecting the mattresses. Veolia is providing support for R&D and the search for downstream channels.
Ecomaison, a state-approved eco-organization whose role is to organize the collection, sorting, repair, reuse and recycling of household objects and materials (furniture, bedding, deco-textile, materials, DIY, garden, toys). Ecomaison has renewed the contract with Veolia and the Envie integration network, on a new mattress dismantling and recycling unit.
"Since 2012, thanks to the creation of these 7 mattress dismantling units, we have been recycling almost 100% of discarded mattresses." testifies Dominique Mignon.
" The synergy on this site is exemplary. Envie Bretagne takes charge of receiving the mattresses and implementing the processes required for their dismantling. Veolia has the expertise to manage the specific materials that make up the mattresses and reintroduce them to the market. Finally, Ecomaison coordinates the collection, sorting and channelling of waste to the various channels." Marc-Olivier Houel, Executive Vice President, Waste Recycling and Recovery, Veolia.

An ambitious, virtuous model

This new site aims to increase volumes from 2,000 to 4,000 tonnes of mattresses processed per year. This will provide an opportunity to improve the packaging of scrap metal, and to pursue the development of full-scale experiments to find new recycling solutions and develop dismantling techniques. Optimizing production will also enable us to increase the number of people on integration schemes, by recruiting up to 20 people at ENVIE Recyclage Bretagne.

"Recycling mattresses is a major ecological gain, but it's also a social gain that enables us to hire a large number of employees, both permanent and those on integration schemes, thus securing their career paths." Daniel Boujard, Chairman of the Ressources T cooperative group.