Recycle and re-use: how we’ll go for it, together with you

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Climate change is a problem for our society and is rightly receiving more and more attention. The amount of waste that we create is an important point of focus in this. And here too, Proximus wants to go beyond simply raising awareness of it in others. As a major Belgian player, we are already actively involved in combating climate change in all the divisions of the company. We are doing this by recycling more and producing less waste. We hope to inspire you in this way.

All our activities, taken together, generated 13,629 tons of waste in 2019. Fortunately, most of these often valuable materials were given a second life, instead of simply ending up in the landfill. No less than 87% was recycled or re-used. The remaining 13% was converted into electricity and heat energy via special waste-treatment plants.

It doesn't stop there, however. The objective is to increase the amount of recycled and re-used waste to 90% by 2025, so that eventually not even a gram of waste will be sent to treatment plants or landfill.

A comprehensive approach to the waste flow

Office work almost inevitably involves a lot of waste. Paper, cardboard, plastic, and batteries are the most obvious examples. But metal waste, wood, oil, and chemicals must also be processed in a responsible manner. Legislation on this is different in each region.

We work closely together with Renewi to give used materials new life as far as possible. This involves tackling the waste flow of all the offices. It all starts with a thorough sorting, carried out by our employees themselves. This will be increased further in the future, to include, for example, coffee grounds and various types of plastics. Renewi then ensures the correct processing of the waste, with the aim of incinerating as little as possible.

A second life for valuable materials

Our network installations also create a lot of waste. These are often very valuable materials, however, and it would be a shame not to give them a second life. That is precisely why the MIDAS project has been running at Proximus for several years. By this means, 680 tons of copper cable were re-used in 2019 alone. In addition, thousands of tons of electronic equipment were recycled. Such things as iron, small electronic equipment, and large electrical scrap. All these valuable materials are put back onto the market for re-use elsewhere.

Even when we say goodbye to a building after years of loyal service, we focus on recycling and re-use. Specialized subcontractors get to work on removing all the material that is present. This takes into account the local legislation on recycling, renovation, and the ecological processing of waste. We then check whether everything is in line with our objectives by means of a comprehensive report on the amounts of waste and the methods of processing used.

Prevention is even better than recycling

Reducing the mountain of waste and the amount of materials that are incinerated is important for tackling climate change. Even better is to ensure that less waste is produced. The first problem that was tackled at the core was paper consumption. With the help of our employees, we managed to halve it in two years. Changing printing habits and switching to email invoicing were just two of the most significant changes. A range of packaging was closely examined and the instructions for use were adapted.

In addition, it is important not to keep producing new devices. Discarded or defective equipment can be recycled perfectly through the repair or replacement of some parts. This is called refurbishing nowadays. 39% of the decoders and 26% of the modems installed in 2019 were refurbished devices. Since 2014, we have refurbished no less than 2,000,000 modems and decoders.

Get involved and put your heart into tackling climate change. Do you have an old phone lying about? Then bring it in. We will ensure that the precious materials are recycled.  And, in exchange, you’ll receive a voucher for at least 10 euros.

Yes, I’m in!

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