Big savings by optimising waste management and reducing water use

© Printemps, #165606952, 2017, source:


General Sustainability Waste Water
Manufacture of food, beverages and tobacco
Investment cost:
High cost
High cost
Co2 emission reduction:
275 tonnes Co2 equivalent per year
Size of company:
Small (less than 50)

More than a pebble story...

  • Joint waste-sorting and resource conservation efforts yields good results for the company, environment and staff
  • Material losses reduced by 264 tonnes (saving € 53 000 a year), and 57 % cost savings on waste

Le Moulin is a flour milling company based in Martinique, the French Antilles. The firm launched a programme to reduce waste and material losses at source. Several actions were conducted to improve waste sorting, waste recovery, and water savings.

An audit of the mill's resource handling revealed abnormally high water consumption even when the site is closed; lab equipment is cooled by water at all times. Le Moulin invested in technology to recycle the cooling water in a closed circuit, which radically cut its water consumption.

The company also initiated a project to improve waste sorting, which included well-defined procedures and staff awareness-raising. Pallets, cartons, plastics and organic waste are no longer sent to landfill with mixed waste, which signficantly reduces the amount of recoverable waste leaving the property. The company set up tools, such as waste-disposers, to reintroduce the material into various processes.

Key results

The different measures helped Le Moulin cut waste loss by 264 tonnes (saving € 53 000 a year), boost its water efficiency, and improve overall environmental performance. The company's sorting efforts even generate 2 tonnes of pebbles (present in the harvest) a year, which used to enter the mixed waste stream, but are now given to employees to use. This action alone reduces the tonnage of non-recoverable waste by 2 %. And the sorting actions altogether reduce mixed waste going to landfill by 40 %, which is a 57 % saving on the waste budget.

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