Vanheede signs contract with Fost Plus for post-sorting 35,000 tonnes of PMD residue

Sustainability , Treatment , PMD

Waste processor Vanheede Environment Group has obtained a new contract for the processing of PMD waste. Starting in 2025, around 35,000 tonnes of PMD waste per year from the five sorting centres will go to the new facility in Rumbeke. The residue still contains around 30 to 40% recyclable material, which will then be sorted again for recycling. This is a five-year contract and an investment of 35 million euros.

Fost Plus managing director Wim Geens: “Today we recycle 95% of the packaging that our members bring to market. That’s nice; but we’re not there yet. For the last packaging be brought into the circular economy requires additional efforts. The final stretch is, after all, the hardest. Thanks to the new partnership we will take the essential steps to further close the circular gap.”

David Vanheede, CEO of Vanheede Environment Group: “As a privileged partner in the circular economy, we are proud to be able to offer a new solution to save even more lost materials from the incinerator. Our new sorting facility will guarantee maximum recycling and enable us to keep the value of the materials as high as possible. This is a crucial new step in achieving the circular economy so as to contribute, together, to a more sustainable future.”

Thinking circular

Every Belgian produces around 23 kg of PMD waste per year. The packaging waste is processed in specific PMD sorting centres into 16 different material flows including a residual flow. That residual flow contains sorting errors made by residents (things that do not belong in PMD), as well as recyclable materials. They may have been wrongly classified either by the sorting facilities (known as process losses) or have become unrecognisable due to incorrect sorting. That is the case, for example, for bottles that are not empty or packaging stacked inside each other. In total, this amounts to 35,000 tonnes per year over the five sorting centres.

Vanheede Environment Group will sort this PMD residue starting in early 2025 in two steps. First, the PMD residue will enter a new mixed industrial waste facility in Rumbeke. This plant separates the actual residue from the recyclable materials and has a total capacity of 100,000 tonnes. Next, at their existing PMD sorting line in order to obtain eight separate material flows for subsequent recycling. Mixed industrial waste is similar to PMD residue, mainly because it contains a comparable proportion of recyclable material.

Since 2022, Vanheede Environment Group has been sorting PMD collected through specific company rounds, jumping in at the other PMD sorting centres in case of overproduction and already sorting 10,000 tonnes of PMD waste annually. The award of this new contract will create continuity and bring even more recyclable material, which previously went to incineration, back into the chain as a secondary raw material, further closing the circular gap.