Comprehensive approach to make business park circular
Currently, residual waste containers from businesses still contain around 50% recyclable material on average. This has to improve, both for legal reasons and with a view to a more sustainable future.
With this project, Platform Grensland Menen-Wervik wants to test an ambitious overall approach for better material and waste management on the industrial park Grensland Menen-Wervik.
First, we made an inventory of all raw materials and residual flows and consulted with the waste intercommunal, private collectors, processors and upcycling companies. Then we determined which streams we could collect, how to collect them and what reuse they could be given.
At the same time, we focused on raising companies' awareness of their legal obligations, the benefits of better waste management and the many opportunities of a more circular economy. We linked this to a whole series of actions, such as the collection of pallets that were offered second-hand after repair, litter collections, a collaboration with a recycling shop, etc.
Communication and community management also featured prominently in this project. We want to enthuse and involve participating SMEs, their employees and our partners as much as possible.
As a final event, we organised a circular week. This included a seminar, several thematic information sessions, company visits and other stimulating peripheral activities.
We inventoried companies' raw materials and waste streams and consulted with private collectors, the waste intercommunal and upcycling companies. On this basis, we made an action plan to better manage waste and material flows.
We informed companies about the importance of better waste management and the opportunities offered by circular economy through multiple channels (webinars, website, newsletters... ), concluding with a circular week full of motivating activities and information sessions.
We organised many collective actions to stimulate sorting and upcycling: collection of e.g. work clothes, furniture and wood in cooperation with a recycling shop, litter collections, collection of PCs (for DigitalforYouth), KGA, pallets ...
We attached great importance to good communication about our project, the circular economy and related legislation via our website, LinkedIn, newsletters, waste calendars, two press conferences and articles in the trade press.
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
This project was launched during the corona pandemic and ended in full energy and resource crisis. Waste and circular economy were not a priority. Companies have no figures on waste and do not know enough about legislation. Permanent sensitisation remains important.
The business park has too limited support ( < 100 ha) for collective actions and group purchases. Companies are also reluctant to give up long-standing collaborations with existing IHMs.
It would be interesting to collaboratewith other projects or business parks with similar objectives through structured consultations. This would allow us to use our resources and tools more efficiently.
For collective actions at the level of business parks, it is necessary to better develop the legislative framework into an incentive instrument. Now, legislation often works rather restrictively. A permanent structural subsidy framework would stimulate new initiatives.
925Participants circular week
75%Companies reached on BT
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Thanks to this project, companies were introduced to the benefits of the circular economy, the interesting role of the social economy in it, and the possibilities for better materials management. The close network built around the project can certainly lead to new collaborations and activities related to waste sorting, circular economy and sharing economy.
Several activities can be continued: the waste calendar, the collection of KGA, pallets and PCs, the information days, the cooperation with the charity shop, etc. The LinkedIn page and our newsletter will also be maintained. Furthermore, negotiations with Wervik to keep the website and update it through our communications officer are ongoing.
The business working group set up for Circular Week will continue as a learning network and may also initiate new actions.
Finally, Circular Week can also continue if another organisation wants to take it up.
More info on the project and all activities can be found here
Info about Circular Week, presentations and vimeos can be found here