Vanheede signs a contract for the additional sorting of 35,000 tonnes of PMD residues


The waste processing company Vanheede Environment Group has joined forces with Fost Plus for additional sorting of PMD residues. The contract in question provides for the processing of some 35,000 tonnes of PMD residue each year, coming from five sorting centres throughout the country. Starting in 2025, these residues, which contain between 30 and 40% additional recyclable materials, will be forwarded to the new, ultramodern facility in Rumbeke. An investment of €35 million supports this ambitious initiative, spread over five years.

A circular policy

Every Belgian resident produces around 23 kg PMD waste per year. The packaging waste is sorted at specialised sorting centres for PMD and end up in 16 different material flows, including one residual flow. The latter includes sorting errors made by citizens (waste that should not have been thrown into the PMD bins) and recyclable materials that may have been classified incorrectly within the sorting centres (known as process losses) or that can no longer be identified because of human error. This is the case, for instance, with bottles that have not been emptied and packaging stacked inside each other. In all, this accounts for around 35,000 tonnes of PMD residue per year over the five sorting centres.

Vanheede Environment Group will take charge of the additional sorting of PMD residue from the beginning of 2025 and will do so in two stages. First, the PMD residue will be taken to a new treatment facility for mixed industrial waste in Rumbeke. That facility separates the residue itself from recyclable materials and has a total capacity of 100,000 tonnes. The material flows will then arrive on the PMD sorting line and will be separated into eight different flows to be recycled. Mixed industrial waste is similar to the PMD residue flows, mainly because they contain a comparable proportion of recyclable materials.

Since 2022, Vanheede Environment Group has been sorting PMD collected via special collection rounds from businesses, and it helps other sorting centres with PMD in case of overproduction. It is already sorting 10,000 tonnes of PMD residue per year. The awarding of this new contract will not only guarantee continuity but will also make it possible to inject additional recyclable material into the chain as secondary raw materials, instead of having to incinerate them as in the past. This will make it possible to bridge the circularity gap.