Les Alchimistes La Réunion

Sector: Community composting and collection projects
Equipment: A900 Rocket Composter and Comptainer

The backstory

French social enterprise, Les Alchimistes, is passionate about sustainable food waste management, and started its composting journey in 2017.

For its first ever pilot project, the organisation purchased an A900 Rocket Composter, to demonstrate to the French government the positive effect decentralised composting can have on a community – both environmentally and socially.

After the success of its projects in Paris, in Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, and Toulon, Les Alchimistes expanded its vision towards La Réunion – an island in the Indian Ocean and is a territory of France, that is famous for its tropical climate and rugged, volcanic landscape.

The challenge

Being classed as a region of France, La Réunion is governed by the same laws as the mainland country itself. This meant that when the Grenelle 2 legislation came into force in 2010 – outlining that the recycling of organic waste would be mandatory for all businesses which produce at least 10 tonnes of food waste per year – it would be affected by the same regulations.

Les Alchimistes and its Réunion-based partner, ARDIE, therefore wanted to replicate the tried and tested decentralised food waste collection and composting model, to enable the island to close the loop and create a valuable resource from its organic wastage.

The solution

For this project, we recommended the A900 Rocket Composter and Comptainer – used to house the in-vessel composting unit.

Similar to the system on mainland France, food waste from the island – from restaurants, hotels, and more – now have their food waste collected by the Les Alchimistes team and transported, by bicycle, to the dedicated composting hub. The compost is then used in cultivation plots to grow fresh produce.

The Comptainer is essentially the ‘home’ for the Rocket – a ‘plug and play’ ergonomically designed solution that enables the site to simply connect its utilities and start composting.

It’s a circular solution, which not only allows the island to harness the resource potential of its food waste, but it also enables it to reduce its carbon footprint, by diverting its organic wastage from landfill.