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Keeping communities safe and sound

Part of our community outreach efforts involve educating the public on waste management and safety. To this end, in October 2019, Renewi attended a safety day in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands, along with the emergency services and the media, which was attended by 15,000 people. Our goal was to educate families about two of the biggest safety problems with waste: items that can cause fires and staying safe around our waste transportation trucks.

Accidents caused by being in trucks’ blind spots is a major road safety problem in the Netherlands, where lots of people use bicycles. At the safety day, we placed a large mat around one of our trucks to show the locations of these blind spots. Placing fire-hazardous items in waste can cause blazes in our waste collection trucks and at our plants. Lithium-ion batteries are one of the biggest causes of this, as they can be found in hundreds of items from children’s toys to telephones. When damaged, they can combust and ignite waste around them. We showed a film of a battery on fire and held a contest for children to identify fire-hazardous items in a container – the winner received an online voucher.

“The public responded brilliantly,” says Victor Vijfvinkel, Marketing and Communications Specialist at Renewi, who attended the event for Renewi. “People who visited us learnt a lot about fire-hazardous items and hopefully from now on they will separate them from their waste. We were constantly busy and telling our story, and in this way, together we can prevent fires in the future.”