Case study - The army sorts PMD too

 

The Florennes military base covers 700 hectares. A total of 1,200 people work on the base, of whom over 700 are there permanently. So waste management is an integral part of military life and PMD sorting has naturally become the norm. 

 

Waste management is coordinated in the Unité Technique Environnementale (UTE - the Environmental Technical Unit), which deals with everything relating to the environment on the base. Environmental assistants are appointed in all the services here. 

Florennes works with a private waste operator  and has its own container park on site, where all types of waste are collected, including hazardous products. Domestic waste containers are available in various places on the base, in the car parks, and the cleaning staff remove the rubbish from the offices. 

 

Increasing awareness of PMD sorting 

Environmental audits are carried out every year to assess the situation and measure the opportunities for improvement. These audits indicated potential room for improvement as regards PMD sorting in the offices and administrative buildings. 

In 2021, 323 tonnes were removed from the base. Most of this consisted of residual waste, and PMD accounted for 3.36 tonnes. This was more than in 2020, but although it remained operational, the base had nevertheless been affected by the lockdown during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Wouter Finet, environmental coordinator of the UTE, explains: “Selective sorting was already carried out, as it's a legal obligation, but we would like to increase awareness among the staff to further improve the PMD sorting capacity.” 

So the UTE decided to put in place a number of awareness-raising measures: 

  • A sorting improvement manual is being prepared which will be available on the base’s intranet. 
  • Sorting islands will be provided for the offices and administrative buildings and stickers have already been ordered from the Fost Plus Sort Store to be displayed in strategic places. 
  • Awareness emails are to be sent to users. 

At a later stage, further environmental audits will be conducted to assess the follow-up when the sorting islands have been installed and the internal awareness campaigns have been carried out. 

Wouter Finet points out that “one of the UTE’s missions is to integrate waste management into everyday life and the unit therefore actively monitors the situation to ensure that PMD sorting becomes a reflex and is done properly and efficiently throughout the site.”