Solid Waste & Recycling


Netherlands Waste Management Themed Trade Mission- Day 2

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Day Two

We spent another solid day on the road looking at Dutch waste management facilities. Today we say a fridge recycling facility (and heard about e waste recycling), saw an waste to energy plant (run by a municipal cooperative with the private sector) and went to a recycling trade show.


This blog presents some highlights from various site visits and then provides some background information on each place visited.

1. Coolrec

Electronic waste has a fairly broad definition in the Netherlands. The company Coolrec (owned by the large waste management firm Van Gansewinkel) in Dordrecht manages electronic waste. They have a number of locations in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium and handle about 100,000 tonnes/year of e-waste. At this particular location we visited they manage refrigerators (about 12,000 tonnes/year). They start by removing the Freon. This is followed by the removal of most wiring. The fridges are then directed to a large shredder for size reduction. The key materials at this point are metal and plastic. They are further separated through air classification.


Coolrec is specialized in the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment into high-quality recovered plastics, metals and other secondary raw material.

White and brown goods consist primarily of high-quality materials that are eminently suitable for recycling as raw materials. Harmful substances are removed and therefore eliminated from the loop. Consequently, natural materials remain in the environment.

Coolrec sells the raw materials to companies all over the world. Raw materials such as plastic, copper, aluminum and iron are purchased by steel plants, copper and aluminum smelters or automobile manufacturers.

2. HVC Groep

Down the street at HVC in Dordrecht we visited HVC, which essentially is a waste management cooperative. They encompass 48 municipalities (and more than 1 million people) in a number of Provinces. They have about 1 million tonnes/year in incineration capacity at two locations. The electricity they produce from this is sold back to partner municipalities at a reduced rate and onto the grid. Ultimately they generate enough electricity for 280,000 households. They also use some of the heat for district heating at one location (and developing it at the other.

They separate and recycle about 950,000 tonnes/year and compost about 150,000 tonnes/year.

As has been echoed throughout this week there has been considerably downward pressure on tipping fees at incinerators due to over capacity, which has been largely caused by the economic downturn. This is being partially being assuaged by importing wastes from other European countries.

HVC is a great example of municipalities cooperating together with the private sector to create the necessary economies of scale for a very integrated waste management system.


HVC is a company owned by a group of municipal and water boards and provides services to their shareholders in the field of waste, energy and water-management. These services include the collection of waste after which it is sorted to be either: recycled, composted or incinerated in a waste to energy plant. They are also active in renewable energy in the form of wind, solar and biomass.

Recycling Gorinchem

We had the opportunity to visit a recycling trade show in Gorinchem.

““Recycling 2014” is the 5th edition of the Netherlands premier recycling trade show. It is the only trade show that combines all different segments of waste management in one place. Recycling 2014 includes a wide array of waste management technology providers and other waste management service providers from across the Netherlands and beyond. It is a great place to learn about technologies used in the Netherlands and Europe as well as what is new and upcoming. “

This show features about 200 exhibitors of various recycling products. Some of the highlights included

  • a presentation by who have a thermal hydrolysis (essentially pressure cooking) of sewage sludge which helps improve its anaerobic digestion
  • a presentation by about their biogas cleaning technologies cleaning biogas and waste water treatment technology
  • a presentation by Europe Recycling Equipment about a variety of shredding equipment that they manufacture and/or sell



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