Translations Best practice in French version Best practice in English version

SITA-GDF SUEZ has completely remediated a severely contaminated industrial site

4. Environment

Waste management


Closure of the Metaleurop Nord plant in February 2003 created a serious economic and social crisis, leading to major environmental and health consequences.

Placed in receivership, the former foundry was unable to fulfill its legal obligation to clean up and restore the site.

In response to a request issued by public authorities and various regional actors, SITA Nord proposed an original project, labeled the "SITA AGORA eco-cluster", whose function was to associate site pollution cleanup with dismantling of the plant and a sustainable transformation in favor of green technologies and businesses.

The former foundry emitted every year 130,000 tons of lead, 100,000 tons of zinc and another 250,000 tons of sulfuric acid. SITA has made the commitment to rehabilitate this 50-hectare site, which for many years had been considered France's most heavily polluted.


  •  Environmental and health remediation;
  • Economic and social redevelopment;
  • Creation of a new business activity center (“Agora“).


This transformation project was conducted in three successive stages:

  • 1. Removal of site hazards and project preparation - November 2003 to August 2004;
  • 2. Site restoration work (dismantling and pollution cleanup) - August 2004 to July 2006;
  • 3. An economic redevelopment plan, with a time line extending into 2012.

On the site of the former Metaleurop Nord metallurgical plant that it dismantled and cleaned between 2004 and 2006, SITA is pursuing plans to install France's first multimodal eco-cluster devoted to waste management.

In all, 18 firms have set up their environmentally-driven businesses here, including 6 green industries:
- Re-Source Auto Pièces: Dismantling of disabled vehicles (11,000 vehicles/year)
- Recycâbles: Recycling of electric cables (35,000 tons/year)
- SITA Nord: Centre for material and energy reuse (100,000 tons/year)
- Epalia: Collection and reuse of pallets (250,000 units/year)
- SITA FD: Treatment and reuse of polluted soils and sediments (120,000 tons/year)
- ONDEO IS: Treatment of water, wastewater and liquid effluent.

SITA AGORA anticipates the creation of 170 jobs once the zone has been fully rebuilt.

A total of 118 jobs have so far been created since transformation got underway.

This employment generation has been supported by several agreements signed with public partners:
- A regional redevelopment allocation worth €2.6 million;
- A Special Investment Fund subsidy from the Regional Council for €900,000;
- A FEDER (European Fund for Regional Development) subsidy for €1.9 million.

SITA AGORA also benefits from all the environmental advantages related to multimodality, including access to a dense motorway network, a location along the Canal de la Deûle and a planned rail system connection.

This ideal geographic location provides for direct connections with SITA facilities elsewhere in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region and opens the eco-cluster to the Northern European and Paris markets.

Best Practice selected in 2010 by the World Forum Lille and updated in 2011 for its evolution.


  •  Showcase site and market reference established by SITA for its expertise and innovations in waste reuse strategies
  •  Integration of the SITA AGORA eco-cluster among the entire group of stakeholders
  • A new model for economic, social and environmental development, unrivaled in France by its size and variety of services


  •  A 50-hectare, formerly polluted site entirely cleaned up and turned into an attractive industrial zone located in the heart of France's northern region;
  •  A space fully integrated into the SITA network of facilities along the banks of a canal in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and benefiting from environmental advantages associated with multimodality;
  • Local actor committed to generating economic, environmental and social vitality in the interest of this mining basin. Creation of an eco-industrial zone responsible for bringing 118 new jobs.
CA 2009 : 79,9 milliard d € (Groupe GDF SUEZ), 2,9 milliards d € (Sita France Filiale Suez Environnement)


1-2, place Samuel de CHAMPLAIN

Mise à jour le 26/05/2016

Creative Commons Attribution This work by Réseau Alliances – World Forum Lille is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.