Geocycle: solving municipal waste treatment challenges & creating jobs in Europe


While the circular economy has clear benefits for the environment, did you know that closed loop thinking also stimulates the job market?

Under the Geocycle brand, Holcim offers waste management services in more than 50 countries around the world. Geocycle collects waste directly from municipalities and industries, pre-processes it in platforms and co-processes (or reuses) it in Holcim cement plants.

Geocycle will continue to expand in the coming years by investing and partnering in parts of Europe where Holcim is well-established. Let’s look at how new Geocycle pretreatment lines in Serbia and France have helped the Group reduce our CO2 emissions while securing local jobs.

Running a cement plant in France with recycled waste

In St. Pierre la Cour, France, the Solid Shredded Waste line provides the largest Holcim cement plant in France with alternative fuel to use in its production process. Commissioned in 2013, it co-processes industrial wastes, used tires, animal meals, polluted waters and contaminated woods in the kiln. Thanks to the new line, 80% of the fuel used in the cement plant comes from waste-derived sources. This means we’re saving 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by 60,000 tons per year!

From a regional perspective, more than two thirds of the alternative fuels co-processed by the plant areas are sourced in Pays de la Loire and neighboring Brittany and generate significant benefit for the region. Plus, Geocycle’s waste management solutions have created several indirect jobs in the waste operation, secured jobs in the Holcim cement plant and in partner sites.

Partnering with municipal leaders in Belgrade for cleaner solutions

Turning to Serbia, the capital city of Belgrade alone generates 500,000 tons of municipal waste – all of which used to go to landfill. The city was looking for new solutions as the waste regulation framework became increasingly strict about the volume of waste streams allowed to be sent to landfill. So municipal actors in Belgrade entered a partnership with Holcim’s Geocycle teams to identify sustainable answers to their waste challenges.

Geocycle set up a sorting line on a landfill that extracts material for recycling. As a result, 20,000 tons of recovered/recycled waste are transformed into raw material and energy for the cement kiln of the Beočin Holcim plant. The line also is an integral part of a larger waste management system, which processes municipal waste generated by 1.7 million inhabitants.

“Geocycle’s sorting line in Belgrade contributes to solving the city’s waste challenge and addresses their commitment to move quickly towards a sustainable alternative for waste treatment. We are very proud to bring an environment-friendly, local solution to a significant volume of waste, while supporting economic growth by creating 20 jobs” said Thomas Guillot, head of the Europe Region for Geocycle.