The household waste recycling facilities of Syndicat Mixte Bil Ta Garbi – Canopia in Bayonne and Mendixka in Charritte-de-Bas – have received the support of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the form of a EUR 50 million loan.

The loan agreement was signed on Friday 20 September 2013 in Bayonne by Alain Iriart, Chairman of Syndicat Bil Ta Garbi, and EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive, in the presence of MEP Alain Lamassoure, Pierre-André Durand, Prefect of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department.

This latest loan instalment, provided in partnership with the banks BPCE and CASA, will make it possible to finalise the construction of two household waste processing and recycling plants in the west of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department:

  • the Canopia facility in Bayonne, comprising  an organic fermentable waste recycling plant with a capacity of 80 000 t/year and a sorting centre for recyclable household packaging (20 000 t/year)
  • the Mendixka facility in Charritte-de-Bas, comprising a residual household waste sorting and composting plant (20 000 t/year) and a landfill site for non-recyclable residual waste (16 000 t/year).

From 2014 onwards, these two large-scale projects will benefit more than 265 000 inhabitants of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department.

At a time of shrinking credit possibilities for local authorities, this long-maturity loan on attractive terms made possible by the EIB’s AAA rating has proved decisive for the implementation of Syndicat Bil Ta Garbi’s regional household and similar waste management plans. These meet EU climate action and renewable energy objectives by recovering energy from waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while helping to develop a sustainable economy by fostering recycling. These projects will also contribute to achieving national and departmental sustainable development objectives by reducing waste disposal in landfills by half.

At the signing ceremony, EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive said: “This vast waste processing project is essential to the future of the French Basque Country. It forms part of an environmental programme of which the inhabitants of the different municipalities will be the prime beneficiaries. It is our duty to create the optimum conditions for financing such projects, which are key factors for sustainable economic development in the heart of our regions. This is how we will build a future for the younger generation.”

For Syndicat Bil Ta Garbi, the EIB’s support shows that its elected members made the right choices in developing facilities capable of meeting EU, national and local household and similar waste management challenges: “With the Canopia and Mendixka plants, our region will be able to recycle 70% of the household waste produced by its more than 265 000 inhabitants. These two facilities are fully in line with EU, national and departmental objectives. The support of the EIB and all the other financial and institutional partners is a decisive factor in building these two facilities and managing our resources responsibly – starting with our waste”, said Alain Iriart, Chairman of Syndicat Bil Ta Garbi.