Localisation: La Roche-sur-Yon (85)

Sector: Waste management

Date of création: 1993

Date of meeting: 02/04/2021

Maturity of the project: Achieved

Trivalis is the mixed departmental union for the study and treatment of household and similar waste in the Vendée.


Trivalis [1] is the mixed syndicate of the department for the study and treatment of household and similar waste in the Vendée. This association was created in 1997 with the sole competence of “studies”. In 2003, after the transfer of the “treatment” competence from the local authorities, the association became operational. Trivalis coordinates and harmonizes the treatment of household and similar waste in the Vendée.

Trivalis treats the 200 tons of daily waste produced by the residents of the Vendée. In fact, in 2020, just over 5000 tons of waste were treated.

The treatment includes :

  • transport operations from transfer centers and waste collection centres to the treatment and recovery sites
  • the operation of public waste treatment facilities in the Vendée as well as studies for new facilities and their construction.
  • the sale of recyclable materials to industry and the sale of compost to farmers.


These treatment operations are part of a policy resulting from the Waste Prevention and Management Plan, for which the Pays-de-la-Loire Region has been responsible since the NOTRe law.

There are about twenty departmental unions like Trivalis in France. The particularity of the Vendée union is that it is the owner of all its facilities.

  • 795,466 inhabitants in the Vendée (DGF 2020: including tourists staying in the department, corresponding on average to 100,000 inhabitants/year)
  • 6 720 km² of surface area
  • 17 local authorities in charge of collection and members of Trivalis
  • 450,000 pieces of waste treated in 2020

Industrial and territorial ecology through discussions on the most appropriate location of treatment facilities in the Vendée region in order to optimize flows and rationalize transport. All possible recycling channels are implemented.

Responsible consumption through various awareness-raising actions on waste prevention and sorting: zero waste workshop, visits to the departmental sorting center and a TMB plant, support for the return of the glass deposit, communication campaign against packaging, etc. These different actions allow citizens to think about their consumption habits in order to reduce their waste.

Recycling and recovery for the majority of household and similar waste in the Vendée.

project operation

To listen to Marie-T Terrée present the project, you can watch the video!

The Vendée territory is composed of 17 communities, represented on the map below.

Cartographie des collectivité [Trivalis]

Community Mapping [Trivalis]

The local authorities are in charge of collecting recyclable waste, household waste and managing the waste collection centers where they welcome their users.

Thus, they are the ones who set :

  • The method of collection
  • The frequency of collection
  • The levy of the tax or fee for the removal of household waste due by the users.

All these communities work with Trivalis, of which they are members. Once the waste has been collected, Trivalis’ mission begins: to manage the waste according to its nature.

The Vendée syndicate has about twenty infrastructures to manage the territory’s waste:

  • 12 waste transfer centers
  • A sorting center for packaging
  • 4 storage sites for final waste2 sorting and composting plants for household waste
  • 5 composting platforms
  • 4 neighbourhood composting platforms

Equipment mapping [Trivalis]


The incentive fee [2] replaces the TEOM, the household waste collection tax. The TEOM is a local tax based on the rental value of the dwelling (levied in the property tax). 

The incentive fee is the contribution that is requested from users to use public waste services. These services are the following: waste collection, operation of waste collection centers, treatment and development of new recycling channels.

The fee is intended to be fairer since its cost is based on the actual production of household waste. It applies to all users and for the moment only concerns household waste. In the Vendée, a local authority is planning to charge for the presentation of the yellow bin in addition to the household waste bin. This is a first.

The calculation of the fee is based on :

  • a fixed part which includes the subscription to the service and a basic fee calculated on the basis of the number of times the bins have been lifted or the number of times the deposit points have been opened.
  • a variable part which applies in case of more than the fixed part.

The incentive fee has many advantages. It encourages everyone to sort their waste better, which in turn reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill.

In order to properly manage the waste produced in the region, it is necessary to know the composition of the waste generated. Thus, a characterization of the Vendée’s garbage cans makes it possible to anticipate the evolution of the management of this waste, which is correlated to the evolution of the lifestyle/consumption of the people of Vendée.

The characterization of the garbage cans shows that bio-waste occupies an important place since it represents more than 40 % of the waste. This important part of bio-waste raises questions.

Knowing that most of the houses are suburban, the implementation of individual composting is easily feasible. The proof, nearly 120 000 individual composters are present in the gardens. Composting in heaps exists, it is not counted. Collective composting also exists: 80 installations are in place in collective establishments. There are also some platforms in the department managed by volunteers. So how can we explain the 40% of fermentable waste still present in the Vendée’s garbage?

The recyclable waste managed by Trivalis represented more than 212,000 tons in 2020. The syndicate notes that the proportion of paper waste continues to decrease while the proportion of plastic packaging continues to increase each year, with more than 6% in 2020 compared to 2019. Waste from waste collection centers is decreasing in 2020 compared to 2019, due to the closure of the first containment facility for two months. It should be noted that the majority of waste deposited at the waste collection center has a second life; 14 recycling channels out of 16 sorting channels.

The transfer centers spread throughout the department allow the optimization of the transport of packaging, paper and household waste.

Packaging is sent to the departmental sorting center located in the center of the department. This sorting center separates the materials according to their nature (plastic, steel, aluminum, cardboard) and extracts the undesirable. The materials are then compacted and sent to recycling facilities in France and Europe.

Do not hesitate to watch the video “VENDEE TRI – Advertorial” at the bottom of the article.

Trivalis also manages the recovery of organic waste. To prevent organic matter from being buried, the Vendée syndicate has set up two sorting and composting plants, 4 composting platforms and 5 neighbourhood composting platforms.

The two sorting-composting plants based in Saint-Christophe-du-Ligneron (North-West) and Château d’Olonne (South-West) extract the fermentable waste present in household waste. This treatment makes it possible to recover this waste in compost which will be used as an input on the agricultural land. This treatment also makes it possible to store only the non recoverable waste. The treatment of 4 kg of biowaste allows to obtain 1 kg of compostable organic matter:

  • ¼ of the material will evaporate during the treatment
  • ½ of the material, mostly inerts, will be sent to landfill
  • ¼ of the material will become compost


Feel free to watch the video “Trivalandes – A treatment site for our waste” at the bottom of the article.

In order to offer compost that meets the needs of farmers in the area, Trivalis works hand in hand with the Pays de la Loire Chamber of Agriculture. This cooperation allows us to know the needs of the agricultural world as to the quality of the compost and to find the farmers who will use this compost. This work has made it possible to highlight the need to add 20% of green waste compost to the compost to structure the product.

This collaboration also makes it possible to judge the viability of this compost with a follow-up of the effectiveness of this amendment compared to another in partnership with farmers who reserve a test plot/monitoring on their land. This follow-up allows to notice the efficiency of this compost made in Vendée.

In addition to managing the waste of the people of the Vendée, the mission of the departmental union goes much further. Trivalis makes it a point of honour to prevent waste and to raise public awareness.

The new bête noire: the increasing quantity of packaging. Trivalis is setting up a brand new communication campaign on this theme. A December 2020 survey of 400 people in the Vendée revealed that 94% of them said they had an environmental conscience. Environmental awareness is expressed, for the most part, by the simple act of sorting. For these same respondents, 53% said they had bought less packaging.

This finding allows the departmental union to illustrate its 2021 communication campaign (see poster below) broadcast on a large scale: television and radio commercials, newspaper advertisements and roadside posters.


A new study will be conducted in 2022 to see if there has been a change in consumption, if the 53% is exceeded.

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