From recycling to social bonding

Atelier d'Eco Solidaire is creating a creative recycling facility in Bordeaux to collect, upgrade and sell furniture and scrap and to raise public awareness of waste recovery.

Social and Employment

Bordeaux, France

Jean-Christophe Poultier

€15,000 to the Selection Committee at 2013/04/09

Project leader

Atelier d'Eco Solidaire

"The staffing structure is fully in place and has solid experience in reuse and an active network of volunteers, especially in the sensitive Grand Parc district.This social and proximity project is ideally suited to a local sustainable development policy."

Jean-Christophe Poultier

Atelier d'Eco Solidaire was created in 2010 to set up a "creative recycling facility" in Bordeaux. The eco-structure works on its territory to reduce bulky waste by reuse and repair. A center for recovery, reuse, upgrading and resale, it is also a tool for education in environmental conservation and for the inculcation of resource saving behavior. As a player in local development, it forms many cultural and interprofessional partnerships, creates socially useful local jobs, prioritizes public service, focuses on the qualification and advancement of its employees, and creates intergenerational social bonds. Its activity has already generated five jobs, four of them subsidized.

The Bordeaux Urban Community (CUB) has offered it an 1100 square m low-rent space: a step that requires investments. Its "creative recycling" project includes collecting materials, repairing furniture, upgrading it by processing or repair, plus sales and awareness raising.


Together with the services of the Bordeaux town hall and of CUB, upgradable objects and materials are collected from homes and waste disposal sites. This also includes industrial waste (scrap from the manufacture of wine crates or reusable materials in do-it-yourself agencies) and the furniture processed by the CUB, institutions and corporations; this aspect of collection is facilitated by the implementation of the Broad Furniture Producer Responsibility (REP) scheme in 2011 alongside Envie, Veolia and an approved eco-organization, Eco-mobilier.


The nonprofit runs a workshop for artistic upgrading, repair and dismantling reusable items.The upgrading is supervised by the creative director, carried out by skilled employees, trainees and volunteers. A creators/craftsmen collective, inspired by activity projects using materials destined for destruction, is accommodated there to broaden the range of skills of the structure (carpenters, textile stylists, interior decorators, designers, plastic artists, street artists, etc.).


Sales areas are organized in order to market the products upgraded or repaired in the workshop, as well as spare parts. The nonprofit actively seeks sales outlets for the higher-value items created by the artists. The sales activity enables destitute persons to acquire furniture in good condition at minimum cost.Its first store, in the Grand Parc shopping center, in the heart of a sensitive neighborhood, received 14,000 visitors in 2012.

Raising awareness and creating social bonds

Atelier d'Eco Solidaire is active in the awareness raising programs initiated by the CUB, the General Council or the Regional Council in primary, secondary and high schools. Installed in the heart of a neighborhood, a recycling facility creates social bonds through public upgrading and repair workshops. It pools cultural events (theater, music, dance, art) to accompany the awareness raising projects. As a training organization, it participates in educating specialized workers to return to work in the waste treatment sector.

From recycling to social bonding

The nonprofit has enlisted the support of the town hall and the CUB, the Ademe environmental conservation agency, the General Council and various Foundations, and has signed agreements with do-it-yourself agencies. The Veolia Foundation is coming alongside to help Atelier d'Eco Solidaire to acquire equipment and tools for the recycling facility.