Reaching out to our communities
Waste management operations, even the most sustainable, are often not popular in the neighbourhoods in which they operate. We understand this, and because we take our commitments to society seriously, we realise that our continued success relies on having good relations with residents who live close to our sites, and on listening to what they have to say.
This is why we regularly open our doors to the public so they can visit our sites and see what we do. For example, this year four of our Belgian sites took part in the national day Journée Découverte Entreprises, a scheme to help people learn more about the companies operating in their communities. Our Roeselare, CETEM, Puurs and Evergem sites welcomed a total of around 4,000 visitors through their doors, and colleagues were on hand to answer questions about what we do and share our story about being a leading waste-to-product business and about sustainable waste management. We hosted similar events during the year at other locations in the Benelux region as well as in the UK and Canada.
We also welcome the opportunity to engage with our customers and help them to gain a deeper understanding of what Renewi stands for and what we do. Creating value from waste and seeing it as a raw material for tomorrow is a powerful message to share, so we were proud to showcase it in action at our Lokeren site, where confidential paper is destroyed and recycled in a completely closed supply chain, which is monitored and audited continually.
We also welcomed customers to our site in Puurs, where they had the opportunity to experience the innovative sorting line on which valuable materials are sorted from waste. Each year, the site processes 100,000 tonnes of residual waste, yielding 30,000 tonnes of new raw materials – so one third of this waste is given a second life as a new product, rather than becoming a cloud of emissions.
Of course, it's vital to engage young people with the "Waste no More" message. That's why Renewi was proud to partner with DreamVille, the site where thousands of Tomorrowland festival-goers return to celebrate the festival. At the 2017 festival, we set out to reduce the amount of waste and litter in DreamVille, encouraging guests to recycle as many reusable materials as possible and give waste a new life. Tomorrowland provided 40,000 Recycle Kits to DreamVille guests, and anyone who handed in sorted waste, received stamps that gave them the opportunity to win great prizes.
Of course, once everyone returned home, the clean-up truly began. By providing the right type of storage containers, we, together with de Kringwinkel Ecoso, Love Tomorrow and volunteers, helped to collect 25 tonnes of camping equipment, which can be lent out for use in the future.
These are just some of the ways in which Renewi is reaching out to our neighbours and spreading our Waste no More message.