When waste becomes a resource

At Gennevilliers, in a room close to the Veolia Environmental Services waste transfer center, the association Extramuros is launching a new activity: the creation and manufacture of everyday objects produced from recycled materials.

Environment and Biodiversity

Project leader


Gennevilliers, France

Christophe Billières

25 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2007/10/02

"Extramuros has many advantages: it integrates the three components - social, economic and environmental - which are the very raison d'être of the Veolia foundation. It is also completely in phase with the strategy of Veolia Environmental Services: to turn waste into a resource."
Christophe Billières

The association Extramuros, created in late 2005, promotes the principles of sustainable development - and especially waste recovery - by innovation and workforce development. In certain cities or at the headquarters of major companies and administrations, it organizes exhibitions of objects designed using diverted or recycled materials. For its new project launched in the course of 2007, it has created a vocational integration firm "Extramuros® l'atelier" to produce and market some of its creations, selected according to their degree of everyday usefulness.

Environmental, social and economic: a very "sustainable development" project

Caddies to go to market, furniture, gifts from customers of major firms: Extramuros® l'atelier has already designed and manufactured some 60 prototypes of common and attractive objects. To renew its catalogue and start producing on a larger scale, it is now working with VIA (the federation of French designers), certain design schools, and plans to set up in a 350 m2 space leased from the Paris Port Authority in Gennevilliers.

By applying the three requirements of sustainable development to the letter, its development plan has also been closely meditated and assigns the greatest importance to social and economic aspects. Thus, most of its personnel will be made up of employees on an integration contract, accompanied throughout their new professional career. At the economic level, Extramuros® l'atelier has already formed partnerships with the French Post, with Vinci Park, and with the VPC internet site of the subscribers to Nouvel Observateur to guarantee the permanence of their activity.

By joining in the development of this project, the Veolia foundation is helping Extramuros to durably anchor the idea that products produced by recycling can be indispensable, practical and beautiful.