Whether you recently moved to Belgium or have lived here all your life, a short explanation is always useful, given the complexity of the organisation.
3 regions? 3 waste management regimes!
The regions are responsible for waste management. This means that 3 institutions define the rules and organise waste management:
- The Government of Wallonia's Le Département des Sols et des Déchets (Soil and Waste Department)
- Bruxelles environnemen /Leefmilieu Brussel in Brussels
- Ovam en Flanders
The regions delegate responsibility for waste collection to the municipalities. The majority of these municipalities or communes are grouped in intermunicipal companies: organisations that cover several communes and manage waste collection (household waste, plastic, metals and drinks cartons (PMC/PMD), paper and cardboard), bottle recycling banks and recycling centres where other waste is disposed of: electr(on)ic appliances and lightbulbs, other dangerous waste, construction materials and bulky items. Additionally, in every region there are re-use centres that recycle textiles, including those disposed of in clothing banks, to give them a second life.
There is 1 intermunicipal company in Brussels, 7 in Wallonia and 28 in Flanders!
To find out more about these inter-communal associations and discover which one operates in your commune or municipality, click here.
So who does the recycling?
The non-profit organisation Recupel is responsible for the collection and recycling of electric and electronic appliances, as well as lightbulbs. Recupel pays rent to the intermunicipal companies to collect these items from the recycling centres of these municipalities!
The same applies for Fost Plus, in charge of the collection and recycling of PMC waste (the plastic bottles and containers, drink cartons, cans etc. that you put in the blue bags), paper, cardboard and glass bottles and containers that you dispose of in bottle banks.
Bebat is the organisation tasked with collecting and recycling batteries. At Recupel, we work closely with Bebat, sending them all the batteries that we recover when depolluting your electr(on)ic appliances on our recycling lines.
Recycling Points close to home
To make it easier for you to recycle small appliances and lightbulbs, we introduced Recycling Points in shops a few years ago.
These are the blue boxes that you find in your supermarket, DIY store or electronics shop. Next time you go shopping, remember to take your small e-waste with you!
So there you have it. Now you know everything there is to know about waste collection and recycling in Belgium!
To find a Recupel collection point near you and give your unwanted appliances a new life as raw materials, go here: