While being in Antwerp for the project’s second thematic seminar, WINPOL partners got the opportunity to see in practice how innovation and waste management go hand in hand, thanks to several study visits organised by the City of Antwerp.

It first took them, on 19 November 2019, to Umicore Precious Metals Refining which operates as one of the world’s largest precious metals recycling facilities. The business unit visited focuses on complex waste streams containing precious and other non-ferrous metals and uses innovative technologies at each steps of the recycling process.

On the following day, the second study visit demonstrated that innovation does not necessarily involve highly technological solutions. De Collectie (The Collection) is an innovative project supported by the city of Antwerp and the Flemish region to promote the reuse of textiles through the collaboration of five non-profit organisations.

An additional site visit was organised on 21 November 2019 to the city of Ghent where the local council has implemented a fee system based on the volume of waste and the frequency of depositing the bag or the bin. The whole system, which follows the waste hierarchy, is implemented by IVAGO, the local waste operator, with the help of a computer controlled kerbside collection.