Afyren and Suez join forces to upcycle municipal organic waste – RECYCLING magazine

Afyren and Suez join forces to upcycle municipal organic waste – RECYCLING magazine

At a time when nearly 20% of global food production is wasted, the importance of limiting these losses throughout the value chain and better valorizing waste streams is a fundamental challenge. Regulatory developments in France are moving in this direction. A provision of the AGEC (Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy) law on organic waste collection for private households came into effect in January 2024, while at the European level, Amended Directive 2018/851 on the circular economy is set to make this subject relevant across the EU. ADEME, the French agency for ecological transition, estimates that the average French person puts 83 kg of household organic waste in the garbage every year. The re-organization of sorting and collection systems will go a long way toward facilitating access to these flows and increasing the amount of organic waste available to be processed.

Using waste from Suez’s collection and treatment activities, Afyren’s process for manufacturing products that can replace petroleum-derived molecules promises to offer an attractive valorization path and a concrete, circular solution to the decarbonization challenges faced by various industrial sectors.

The goal of this collaboration is to develop an offer based on this solution that would be complementary to the processes currently in place in France — such as those using bio-waste as amendment or to generate methane for energy purposes. 

Created in 2012 and running at industrial scale since 2022, the Afyren process is based on the natural fermentation of biomass from locally sourced co-products that do not compete with human food crops. A wide range of raw materials can be used, including co-products from the sugar industry (beet and cane), other organic co-products (soy, cane, corn, beer production) — and now also organic waste from garbage collection.