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Recycling organic waste in Bordeaux, France

Promoting the practice of composting in urban communities

RECUP’—a French acronym for “Collaborative Urban Recycling and Composting”—is a project led by Les Recyclettes, an association managed by students from Bordeaux in the west of France. The project helps businesses and households in the Bordeaux area recycle their organic waste through composting. The compost is then picked up by the association, which distributes it to market gardeners.

Project Identity

Project Leader: Les Recyclettes Year of Support: 2019
Location: Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France Sponsor: Rodolphe Tachon, Responsable Ventes, Air Liquide France Industrie Floirac


Urban composting

The RECUP’ project is a collaborative solution designed to facilitate composting in apartments, restaurants, and other urban environments. Members are given a compost bin and wheat enriched with micro-organisms (a mixture of bacteria, yeast and microscopic fungi) to help break down their organic waste. The compost is collected twice a month using electric cargo bikes. Les Recyclettes distributes the compost free of charge to its partner gardeners in the region.

450 individuals and 6 businesses have already signed up for the program.

13 tons of organic waste collected

6323 km traveled by bike

450 subscribers

A student project

The RECUP’ project was started by five students who wanted to find a sustainable solution for recycling organic waste in urban households. This waste accounts for 30–40% of the weight in our trash. In downtown Bordeaux, there is no system in place to recycle organic waste at home. 

With this project, the students have given Bordeaux residents the opportunity to engage in responsible waste management. Les Recyclettes estimates that it can compost 24 tons of organic waste a year.


Recup, the first recovery service for bio-masse in Bordeaux. Project supported after the first call for projects

Local distribution

Eventually, the idea is to connect consumers with producers. The students are working on developing a system of fruit and vegetable baskets, with produce supplied by their partner gardeners. The baskets would then be given to their members (including private individuals and restaurants), so that they can taste the fruit of their efforts.

With the number of members growing, a full-time contractor could be hired to collect the compost.

How is the Air Liquide Foundation involved?

The Air Liquide Foundation financed the purchase of two electric cargo bikes to collect the organic waste, along with their trailers.