Generate savings for the local authorities in Aude region, France, through innovative waste management

To support local authorities in meeting their challenges, SUEZ proposes innovative and cooperative forms of governance for waste management contracts. In Aude, France, the partnership signed with municipal association Covaldem integrates civic representatives and ensures the savings made are equitably shared with the local authority.
The mission

Global performance and circular economy in Aude

Covaldem is a mixed organisation involving seven municipalities in Aude, France. It expressed a desire to participate in the energy transition. This undertaking required the use of new operating methods and the promotion of the circular, cooperative economy. 
The association took advantage of the new territorial organisation law (NOTRe french law) enacted in August 2015, to consolidate all its waste management services under a global contract, in a more cooperative and more equitable approach. Through this new contract, Covaldem aims were to: 
  • bring together all waste management activities via a public service delegation contract;
  • reduce solid waste and voluminous waste produced by the municipalities;
  • raise the overall waste recovery rate.
inhabitants in 7 municipalities
Our solution

An innovative, integrated approach to waste management

At the time of renewing the waste collection and treatment contract, SUEZ proposed a global approach in which Covaldem would be responsible for the organisation, consistency and overall quality of the service. Based on a shared governance approach with citizen involvement, this partnership is innovative on more than one level.
Unique, shared governance
A company manages the contract. Elected officials and stakeholders sit alongside SUEZ on the management board to ensure cooperative management. Representatives from local authorities and citizens meet in themed, forward-looking work groups to ensure cooperative governance.
A win-win situation in economic terms 
SUEZ is remunerated in line with the achievement of objectives set by the municipal bodies. An efficient, neutral and simple calculation method was identified to ensure the process is equitable. If the objectives are met, savings are shared equitably between the municipal authorities and SUEZ.  
Foster citizen involvement
Awareness campaigns and educational tools encourage local residents to actively adopt sorting and collection approaches. 
  • A new concept of connected recycling centre, baptised Recydrive, will be built in Carcassonne. Based on a mobile phone application, this new concept orients users on arrival at the recycling centre and provides assistance with sorting. 
  • A recycling and reuse centre will be located across the road, creating a place for the exchange, repair, reuse and resale of items at modest prices.

A secure long-term partnership
SUEZ and the municipal authorities committed to long-term waste recovery objectives. At the end of this 19-year contract, SUEZ will ramp up material and energy recovery practices by reducing the quantity of waste earmarked for landfill, to reach an overall recovery rate of 75% starting in 2020. 
The results
This global performance contract based on a win-win partnership means that progress made by SUEZ is beneficial to the municipalities.
Benefits are measured: 
  • in financial terms with sharing of savings made if objectives are reached;
  • through the social and political involvement of citizens in shared governance of the activity;
  • in environmental terms, higher recycling and recovery rates are beneficial to preserving natural resources.
This contract illustrates SUEZ know-how in terms of business innovation.