Soil’s decontaminators, heroes of our time

Soil’s decontaminators, heroes of our time

Ecoterres, Farciennes and Gosselies

The company Ecoterres specialises in treating polluted soil. Combining the management of this and restoration projects, it is unique in Belgium. Thanks to various technologies, it cleans water courses and protects water tables from pollution. Visionary work necessary for future generations.

Based in Gosselies and in Farciennes, Ecoterres is environmentally innovative at three levels: the company is developing new technological environmental solutions, and it is designing its business by applying the principles of the circular economy and by primarily using waterways.

50 people work for Ecoterres Wallonie

Providing solutions for managing waste

Faced with a volume of waste collected from the bottom of water courses identified at the start of the 90’s, Ecoterres decided to act by providing a solution: since then, this company has dredged and treated waterways and has separated this mud and waste, using technological tools.

The company has its own fleet for cleaning the riverbanks

Over the years, Ecoterres has expanded its activities and also decontaminates industrial sites and former landfill sites. A process that is vital for the future. The concept is simple: let’s stop hiding ‘the dirt’ that we have collected under the rug and ask ourselves what we can do in a responsible way.

The materials collected are decontaminated thanks to highly researched scientific techniques

Using their own boats

Ecoterres is one of the only companies to have its own fleet: barges, bucket-chain or floating digger dredgers for restoring the water channels at riverbed and water course level. ‘We are currently working on a 6-km section between Pommeroeul (Belgium) and Condé (France). The canal is clogged up: we will remove the mud to restore the waterway for large vessels. The project will take 4 years, employs around 30 men and is part of a public contract worth several tens of millions of euros’, explains Denis Drousie, director of Ecoterres.

What’s more, Ecoterres uses its fleet to transport polluted mud and waste via the waterways. An environmentally-friendly strategy according to Denis Drousie. ‘The waste, which is generally clay alluvium or sand in the case of a waterway, is taken to one of our recycling centres on the edge of the water channel to be recycled there.’

Ecoterres’ decontamination techniques are adapted depending on the context

High-tech methods

In addition to its water activity, Ecoterres has also developed a subsidiary for decontaminating soil. At the customer’s request, the company provides a comprehensive solution. It designs the best solution, depending on the level of pollution. ‘We were called by a former open-air household waste site. The site had a runoff and was giving off a harmful gas. We had to act to prevent this pollution dispersing and to improve the residents’ living conditions’.

The company offers comprehensive, cutting-edge solutions for extremely polluted sites

To decontaminate the soil, civil engineers and bioengineers have developed a number of high-tech techniques to be chosen depending on the type of pollution and the site’s constraints (in situ, on-site or off-site). ‘The work is often complex. Before the 2000s, there generally wasn’t much thought about waste, we left everything where it was. Today, there are areas that have been extremely polluted for some years. Everything has been put in place to improve the situation’.


Several recycling centres have been set up in Wallonia

Circular economy

Thanks to this expertise, Ecoterres is currently developing ‘all-in’ sources, including decontamination and construction, on former industrial wasteland, as explained by Denis Drousie. ‘We buy polluted land, we carry out decontamination works and we restore the site for property or regional development projects’. The company is currently working on two Walloon sites measuring over 300,000 m².

A while ago, the employees of Ecoterres decided to adapt their new offices to their philosophy. In September 2018, they laid the first stone of their new headquarters in Farciennes. They are thus unveiling the all new Ecopole, a business park developed by Igretec. The future building promises to be environmentally-friendly and sustainable: low-energy, high-tech and compliant with the concepts of the circular economy.

Contact :
Avenue Jean Mermoz, 3C
6041 Gosselies
+32 (0)71 25 60 41

©Pictures/Leslie Artamonow