La REcyclerie in Paris celebrates 5 years of awareness raising and actions for an ecological and social transition

La REcyclerie reinvents the concept of a "third place" - neither home nor work. Set up 5 years ago in Paris in an old station on the inner railway ring, La REcyclerie is a place for meetings, exchanges and sharing dedicated to protecting the environment. Together citizens, businesses, associations and communities are building a more just and sustainable world there. Veolia believes in this approach and so is the main partner in this site that experiments with the engagement of civil society around subjects related to the environment. The Group has also duplicated this model in Africa with other projects in the planning stages. A review of 5 years of success!

La REcyclerie in Paris in figures: 

  • Open 365 days a year and with 200,000 visitors a year; 500 members and 100 volunteers;

  • An urban farm that on 1,000 m2 produces: 450 kg of fruit and vegetables, 4,000 eggs laid by 16 hens, and 170 varieties of plants, using 1 vermicomposter and 5 compost bins. 300 training courses in vegetable garden techniques organized.

  • A repair shop, with 3,000 household appliances restored, 1,500 tools borrowed, 500 objects shared, and 130 introductions to DIY 

  • A responsible canteen café: with a menu of homemade products, 68,000 vegetarian dishes served, 50,000 litres of drinks, 8 tonnes of coffee and tea grounds recycled, and a waste sorting centre

  • An eco-cultural program: 4,000 events, 1,000 speakers, 80,000 visitors and a 400-book library with free access.

  • An eco-awareness initiative: 18,000 podcasts downloaded, video tutorials (on zero waste, biodiversity, responsible food), and 2 guides on responsible food and zero waste, published in partnership with Editions Larousse.

  • A web community: 50,000 followers on Instagram, 100,000 on Facebook, and 5 million views of videos.


  • Une communauté web : 50 000 abonnés sur Instagram, 100 000 sur Facebook, et 5 millions de vues des vidéos.

From the first year of opening, we felt the need to rely on a partner that is an expert in the environment, which gives meaning to our approach. From the start Veolia agreed to support us. Four years and 60 employees later, it is a great success.
Stéphane Vatinel
Director and founder of La REcyclerie
La REcyclerie is an innovative structure that creates social ties in the territories and offers alternative and responsible modes of consumption. We have been working with them since 2015.
Fanny Demulier
CSR Communication manager at Veolia.

Main partner of La REcyclerie since it opened, Veolia’s role covers:

  • Improving the environmental footprint of the site through a study conducted by its subsidiary 2EI in 2017

  • Support in relation to reflections about La REcyclerie’s economic model and its impact; links with the Ecole des tiers lieux (established in 2018 to train managers in multiple skills), and the Cité fertile.

  • Support, through the Veolia Foundation, for the venue’s annual programming and a cycle of circular economy conferences (2C) aimed at young people. 

  • Creating a library on the environment, in connection with the Veolia Foundation’s Environment Book Prize.



La Recyclerie shares a model that has a strong societal impact

Third places revitalize territories by creating value (jobs, training, incubation, awareness, social links). Each project is adapted to the territory, at the interface of societal innovation, sustainable development, awareness and corporate sponsorship:

  • L’Oasis in Niamey (Niger): As part of its water services contract in Niger, in January 2018 Veolia created a site based on the La REcyclerie model in Paris with a structure adapted to the needs of the territory. Its goal: in addition to raising public awareness of the environment, to train and support more than 2,000 women entrepreneurs throughout Niger. Results: 7 jobs created, 2,500 people welcomed, 686 women supported through entrepreneurship training programs.

  • Soon in Durban (South Africa), a third place will develop projects with high societal impact that focus on integrating the most deprived populations.



A third place is an urban sociology concept; "Third place (neither work nor home)" from the book "The great good place: coffee shops, coffee shops, bookstores, bars, hair salons, and other hangouts at the heart of a community" by Ray Oldenburg published in the United States in 1999.


> The La REcyclerie website (in French only)

> Veolia Foundation: "Understanding the circular economy for a more responsible economic development"

> Veolia’s corporate social responsibility (CSR)