[The ECT company re-uses these soils to transform impoverished spaces in urban parks and farmland
27 March 2019, an article by Giuletta Gamberini in La Tribune
The enormous volumes are one of the main environmental issues for Greater Paris. How to upcycle the tens of millions of tons of excavated soil that will be generated by these works? 40 million tons will come from the Grand Paris Express alone. For the ECT group, operating in the Île-de-France region, this challenge is above all an opportunity. ECT has been active in this area since the 1970s, and it has developed a solution which goes beyond that traditionally offered by earthmoving companies, which consists of simply re-using these soils for highway embankments. Instead, ECT uses them for land-use developments. “We make parks out of them, but also fields or woods, where there are impoverished spaces – brownfield sites, sports grounds, rubbish dumps, abandoned quarries and so on”, explains the chairman of the business, Laurent Mogno.
The financial model used by ECT, which has already completed dozens of developments, is based on the status of ‘waste’ which legislation today applies to all this excavated soil, including the 80% of it which is ‘inert’ rather than polluted; in other words, which is not liable to deteriorate or to react in contact with other materials. The business’s income comes entirely from the price paid by businesses in the construction & public works sector to get rid of waste in a way that complies with the regulations.
ECT separates out and treats any polluted soils, and provides the certificates required for traceability of waste.
On its 15 sites in the Île-de-France region, ECT has the capacity to receive about 15 million tons of inert soil per year. And on some of them, like the one at Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin, vast dikes have been created to receive tons of soil from tunnel-boring machines, which make up half the excavated soil from the Grand Paris Express, and which have particular physical characteristics that require suitable sites.]