28 April 2021: Safety campaign in every Belgian waste incineration facility

The 'World Day for Safety and Health at Work', an initiative by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), takes place on 28 April. This day focuses on the prevention of industrial accidents and occupational diseases. In a concerted approach, all members of Belgian Waste-to-Energy (BW2E) are taking part, and specifically promoting safety on the tipping floor and in the waste acceptance hall. The aim being to raise even greater awareness of safe practices amongst their own staff as well as those delivering waste. To this end, BW2E is cooperating with Denuo, the Belgian federation of the waste and recycling sector. Some non-BW2E members spontaneously also joined the campaign.

2,000 drivers on a single day

There are 14 treatment facilities in Belgium for the thermal-heat recovery of household and commercial residual waste. Yearly, it concerns the supply of 2.8 million tonnes of waste. On a single day there are around 2,000 truck drivers entering these installations to unload waste.

Each of the installations has its own waste delivery method but strict safety regulations apply throughout. However, prevention and safety personnel find that safety is still being compromised too often. 

BW2E chairman Sébastien Stempnick underlines the importance of accident prevention in the sector: “Belgian Waste-to-Energy is taking part in this international safety day because we want to prevent accidents in our sector and, in particular, for all operations and manoeuvres in the waste acceptance hall and on the tipping floor. Every day we strive to ensure that all our employees, as well as those who deliver the household and commercial residual waste, return home safely. We are convinced that awareness and a positive approach from all involved parties will ensure a safer working environment.”

Denuo, the Belgian federation of the waste and recycling sector also backs this campaign.
Stany Vaes, General manager of Denuo: “In the past few years, the sector has taken a lot of measures to ensure safety around incinerator tips. However, we still receive reports of dangerous situations occurring. For example, when drivers clear up spilt waste: waste that has been left behind in the truck or left at the edge of the hopper. In order to prevent these dangerous situations, we want to raise the greatest level of awareness in our drivers regarding the safety regulations they must adhere to in the vicinity of these hoppers. In order to highlight this, Denuo and BW2E are jointly setting up this awareness campaign for drivers."

Campaign with the focus on personal contact (at a safe distance)

Members of the ‘Safety’ working group from Belgian Waste-to-Energy developed a concrete plan to improve safety in the waste acceptance halls and around the hoppers.  They charted any hazardous operations occurring near hoppers, creating an awareness campaign in the process.  Central to the approach is personal contact:  a conversation at a safe distance between employees from the waste-to-energy sites and the drivers who come to unload waste. This dialogue is flanked by banners, beach flags, flyers and a social media campaign. All installations thermally treating household and commercial residual waste are set to adopt this on 28 April.

28 April: concrete action on the tipping floor

The conduct of every truck driver who makes a delivery on 28 April will be assessed by a member of staff from the site.  A fun flyer with cartoons will make clear which aspects of behaviour were perfectly all right and where improvements can be made. Anyone who ‘drives error-free’ gets rewarded with a small present. Anyone falling short is informed about how to improve in future.

Because the objective is to provide as many drivers as possible with a ‘good report’ on 28 April, there has also been an emphasis on raising awareness and providing information in the weeks leading up to this. Cooperation with Denuo is crucial in this. Most waste collection firms are members of this federation.  Through this approach, they have drawn the attention of all these companies and their drivers to the campaign.  Belgian Waste-to-Energy designed a clear PowerPoint presentation for them with safety instructions which apply in all installations when delivering and unloading waste. This may be used in training courses and toolbox meetings for drivers.

Maintaining safety

During the campaign, it will be noted which hazardous situations occur most frequently.  Additional attention will be paid to this in the weeks following the campaign. The aim is to ensure the avoidance of any unsafe situations in the waste acceptance halls in future.

More information:

Belgian Waste-to-energy unites all of the Belgian facilities that treat residual household and similar commercial waste and recover energy from it. Altogether, they convert 2.8 million tonnes of waste into energy and materials for today and tomorrow. Every year they produce more than 1.5 million MWh of electricity which is partially renewable. This is the equivalent of the energy needs of 430,000 households.  In addition, BW2E members supply heat to residential or industrial heating networks. www.bw2e.be

Denuo is the Belgian federation of the waste and recycling sector. In a world where raw materials are becoming scarcer and companies want to produce sustainably, our 250+ members are the essential link between materials used and re-use, recycling and final treatment. www.denuo.be

Press contact BW2E: Silvia Colazzo, Communications Manager, +32 476 63 18 27, email
Press contact Denuo: Maarten Geerts, Communications Manager, +32 (0)2 229 15 03, email 

Indaver: Inge Baertsoen – Communications Manager - +32 497 970570 – email Inge Baertsoen 

Read here the press release here (pdf) with the list of participating installations.

Share this page