La Tricyclerie is an initiative based in Nantes, France, which collects organic waste from local businesses on cargo tricycles and bike trailers. The waste, which comes from 30 restaurants in three Nantes neighbourhoods, is collected by a team of volunteers. Twice-weekly collections add up to an estimated 20 tons annually, which is taken to local composting facilities. All collections are weighed, with the business or restaurant’s contribution tracked.
The businesses are provided with buckets in which to collect their waste. The resulting compost is redistributed to urban gardens and green spaces, as well as peri-urban farms. The scheme also aims to raise awareness of food waste and to give local residents access to the composted material for community projects.
The initiative is the brainchild of Coline Billon, a local Environmental Engineer who founded La Tricyclerie in 2015, on her return to Nantes from time spent in Peru. It was there, at the 2014 COP20 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, that she was inspired to become involved in ecological innovation back home.
Billon has ambitious plans; by 2018 she plans to collect 30 tons of waste annually, double the number of restaurants involved and develop a network of farmers who would benefit from the compost. There are currently 15 people in the organisation, three of whom are paid. Expansion outside of Nantes is also on the agenda; Billon plans to develop a framework for supporting those who want to imitate the initiative in their own cities.
Billon was recently shortlisted in the UN’s Young Champions of the Earth competition, in which La Tricyclerie could win $15,000 in funding. Results will be announced at the end of September 2017.
Innovations: Circular Economy
Organisation: La Tricyclerie
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