I went to the Bell’Occas recycling centre in Auvillers-les-Forges and it was Philippe, a technical integration manager, who welcomed me and presented the premises. I only came for a few informations, but Philippe is generous, passionate, and exciting, and it is with enthusiasm that he shared with me his ten years of experience at Bell’Occas’. That’s how my few questions turned into a real immersion.
WHAT IS A RESOURCERIE?
A resourcerie, also called recyclerie, aims to give a second life to our objects while allowing the professional reintegration of people who are far from employment. Bell’Occas is a member of the Réseau des Ressourceries, which has laid the following four pillars to clarify the various approaches:
COLLECT objects that you no longer want,
VALUE, in other words repair or relooker,
SELL at very affordable prices;
SENSITIZE to the environment.
The Réseau des Ressourceries now has 154 members throughout France!
A resourcerie is a short-circuit solution that highlights the circular economy, the local, the recovery, reuse and recycling to reduce waste and make these second-hand objects accessible at low cost. The waste bins are emptied, the resource bins are filled with waste that has become treasure.
A HUMAN ADVENTURE ABOVE ALL
Bell’Occas was created in 1996 in Auvillers-les-Forges, at the time it was a large covered flea market like Emmaus, and the team consisted of a driver, a carpenter and a manager. As time goes on, Bell’Occas is developing in Charleville-Mézières and Rethel.
In the 2000s, Bell’Occas took a new turn and began working with people who were far from employment. The association was created in 2006 and is based on its willingness to invest in the professional integration of those who need it. Today, the association works in partnership with Pôle Emploi and with the Plan Local Insertion Emploi et emploi 59 fixed-term integration contracts (these are not traditional assisted contracts) and 12 permanent contracts! Each person on a supported contract is monitored and supported to acquire new skills in order to find a job more easily afterwards.
GIVE A SECOND LIFE TO OBJECTS
1. FREE DEPOSIT or COLLECTION of objects from individuals and professionals
2. WEIGHT, SORT AND LABELLING according to the product category (Furniture – Household appliances – Trinkets – Textiles – Culture).
> Why weigh them? For eco-organizations to calculate the amount of the eco-tax: a paid contribution to the purchase of new household appliances and furniture to offset the estimated costs of collecting and processing these products once they are obsolete. The eco-tax is calculated every year based on the tonnage of objects collected last year.
To give you an idea, while Bell’Occas processed 20 tons of objects per year in 1996, it processes 1000 tons in 2017!
> Why label them? Because the quantities of objects collected are such that the Bell’Occas association has used systems similar to those used in department stores. Each labelled object is assigned a computer-registered number and barcode to improve the tracking of each object and inventory management.
While an item could spend 80 days in a warehouse before being sold, the average time is now 20 days!
3. ASSESSMENT OF THE STATE and TREATMENT until it is put up for sale
Furniture, household appliances, culture and textiles are for sale in the main building while knick-knacks are for sale in the “Hangar” section every Saturday. Lovers of second-hand goods will find in a spirit of “bric-a-brac” an unimaginable quantity of trinkets or tools or materials and which are intended for those who wish to tinker themselves.
The advantages of Bell’Occas: appliances guaranteed for up to one year after purchase, the possibility of having your appliances repaired, whatever their origin, purchase of spare parts for household appliances.
UPCYCLING HAS A FUTURE!
Bell’Occas acts in the service of both the environment and humans. Behind its appearance of a modern garage sale is a real complex organism that deals with a monstrous quantity of objects. The association is in step with the times and does not hesitate to modernize and offer services equivalent to those of major retailers. For example, you can locate your furniture on their online catalogue and ask to have it repatriated to Charleville, Auvillers or Rethel!