Old books scheme raises millions for French charities

Quelle Bonne Idée!

Getting rid of old books, CDs or DVDs is not the chore it once was in France, thanks to a not-for-profit recycling scheme.

Recyclivre started in 2008 when founder David Lorrain was looking for a way to get rid of dozens of books he had at home without having to throw them out.

Recyclivre communications manager Cheick Oulare said: “He realised that there was no solution and that many people were also looking for a way to get rid of their old books.”

The company picks up books from owners’ homes, in Paris, Nantes, Strasbourg, Lille or Toulouse. You can also choose to send the books directly to the company for free from anywhere in France, or leave them at a pick-up point. The company then sells on any books, CDs or DVDs – even video games – which are in good condition. The rest are recycled.

Last year, it recycled 1.2million books.

The books need to have a barcode and to be in French. Sadly, it doesn’t accept English books at present. Magazines, newspapers, travel guides, encyclopaedias and dictionaries are not accepted.

It gives 10% of profits to charity, notably associations helping unemployed people to find a job and to conquer illiteracy. Since 2008, it has given almost €2million to its partner associations.

The company uses electric vehicles and recycles exclusively in France as it tries to act for the environment. Mr Oulare said: “We are trying to have a lower carbon print.”