The recreational sector plays a major role in promoting sustainable practices. Walibi Park, a household name in the world of amusement parks, has embarked on an exciting journey towards effective waste management in partnership with Fost Plus and waste manager Vanheede. By means of improvements of the park’s waste sorting infrastructure and rigorous behind-the-scenes quality control, Walibi managed to recover an additional 20 tons of recyclable materials.
An evolving project
Many holiday villages and amusement parks recognise the importance of sorting waste, but they face obstacles that limit their impact. With seasonal workers who need to be trained every year and visitors who forget about good sorting practices when they’re away from home or who aren’t familiar with Belgian sorting rules, it’s not always easy to get good sorting results. Walibi Park showed its determination to meet this challenge head on. Alongside Fost Plus and Vanheede Environment Group, a provider of customised waste collection and management services to businesses, the park took a number of steps to optimise its sorting system and encourage its visitors to adopt good practices. Together, the partners implemented the five pillars of a successful sorting project.
Infrastructure and communications
When the project was launched in 2020, Fost Plus carried out an in-depth analysis of the park’s situation in order to obtain a complete understanding of what improvements needed to be put in place. The first finding was that the park had neither an adequate sorting infrastructure nor the means of communication to offer visitors effective guidance. To remedy this, Walibi and Fost Plus drew up an ambitious action plan to ensure the project’s success. 85 sorting bins, each with a capacity of 240L, were installed in the park and Aqualibi, with visual aids such as stickers and banners to guide visitors in their sorting choices. To make this initiative even more exciting, a teaser video was produced, featuring musicians who played music whenever a visitor correctly sorted waste in a specific area ofthe park. An ingenious way to make sorting fun and rewarding.
The project evolved over the following years. The standardised bins were replaced by personalised bins that fit perfectly with the theme of the park. This aesthetic and immersive approach enhanced the visitor experience and made waste sorting an integral part of the Walibi adventure.
Logistics and monitoring
Fost Plus did not just launch the project and let it evolve on its own. With the support of Vanheede, as the party responsible for emptying the bins in the park and running the Walibi recycling centre, constant visual waste quality checks were carried out to ensure that the sorting messages were getting through properly. In addition, these checks made it possible to identify areas for improvement within the park, which helped maintain a dynamic and tailored approach. For example, after analysis of the restaurant bins, seasonal workers were given personalised training to improve the sorting done behind the scenes. Walibi is currently focusing on improving sorting in the car park, where a lot of PMD waste still ends up in the general waste bin.
Together, Fost Plus and Vanheede continue to offer constant expertise and valuable advice to the park in order to improve its sorting areas, logistics and sorting quality.
Through close collaboration, constant feedback and the sharing of expertise, Walibi has improved not just its sorting infrastructure within the park but its waste management results. In 2022, thanks to this joint initiative, Walibi Park managed to collect 23.7 tons of PMD waste, a spectacular increase compared to 2.8 tons in 2020. This means that around 20 tons of additional materials are now recycled. These figures reflect the effectiveness of the initiative and the strength of the collaboration between the partners.
A model to follow
Walibi's engagement continues to flourish. The company has demonstrated that with effective collaboration, even complex challenges can be overcome. With this collaboration, Fost Plus has introduced a dynamic approach that can easily be implemented in other similar locations. It’s an example worth following.