Solid Waste & Recycling


Netherlands Waste Management Themed Trade Mission – Day 5

Today, our final day, was a busy one starting in Apeldoorn with stops in Flevoland and ending up in Amsterdam for a canal cruise and a farewell dinner. Judging by the intermittent yawns and occasional closed eyes on the bus I think that everyone is tired from what has been a bit of a marathon.

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

1.   Municipality of Apeldoorn

 The City of Apeldoorn (165,000 residents) is situated in the centre of the Netherlands. They have used Diftar methodology to reduce waste generation. Diftar is an acronym for differential tariff and is essentially a form of User Pay.

In 2006 the amount of waste generated was about 206kg/resident/year. The goal was to reduce waste to 150kg/resident/year by 2011. This was accomplished by having carts/collection for SSO/leaf and yard waste as well as paper waste.

On average households pay a flat fee of $230 CAD per year for waste management. Residents use 240 grey bins for waste and pay an additional $10 each time they place the bin out for collection (collection is every two weeks). This system works as a utility with a key proviso that the municipality must break event and not make a profit.

They were initially also charged for the collection of SSO/Leaf and yard waste, which led to a significant decrease in the amount collected. When this fee was rescinded the amount of organic waste collected increased significantly and the City achieved its goal just one year late, in 2012.

In 2013 the City added a fourth cart for plastics. They delivered it to all households, unless households called an indicated they did not want the cart (80% uptake rate).

They are moving to “reverse collection”. What this entails is curbside collection for the various  recyclable streams and communal underground bins for residual waste

Municipality of Apeldoorn

The Municipality of Apeldoorn is responsible for the collection of waste from almost 158,000 inhabitants. Apeldoorn uses a Differentiated Tariff system (DifTar), to charge its inhabitants for the amount of waste they produce. Apeldoorn also uses the DifTar system to lower the amount of waste produced per inhabitant.

2. Van Werven

Van Werven is a family owned company that got its start in the collection and recycling of construction and demolition wastes. In 2008 they started an innovative plant to collect, sort and granulate various rigid plastic streams and sell the resultant recycled plastics into various marketplaces. They focus on plastics generated at C&D sites but also receive loads of plastics from other plastic recyclers. They receive very little packaging plastic.

Their process is deceptively simple. They manually sort the various plastics into their various resin types, further sort through flotation and optical sorting, and then wash and grind these plastics. Where it becomes much more complex is in their lab where they test the various plastic resins as they strive to make very specific mixes for their various clients. For mixed plastics no tipping fees are charged but they are delivered. For single streams (i.e. sorted) they pay for them.

They now manage about 50,000 tonnes per year of plastic at this facility and a number of satellite facilities in the Netherlands and the UK (with a Belgian site coming on line soon). They sell granulated plastics to various manufacturers that use plastic.

A key driver for them was to find better markets for the plastics (then sending them to China). One of the markets they developed was with Wavin (, the biggest PVC pipe producer in Europe.  Their prices for recycled plastics are about 50% of virgin materials. They sell about 15,000 tonnes/year to them. Overall about 95% of materials are recycled back into western Europe.

Van Werven

Van Werven is a company amongst others active in the collection and treatment of waste. The waste handled by Van Werven ranges from C&D waste to green waste. The waste is further treated or recycled depending on the category.

Van Werven is furthermore specialized in recovery and refinery of plastics collected from its waste streams. After the sorting the plastics is shredded en further upgraded until it can be reused as raw material again.

3. Orgaworld

The final stops of our trade mission were in Lelystad, which is in the province of Flevoland. This province was previously ocean bottom and created about sixty years ago.

Orgaworld has a tunnel composting facility in Lelystad. They compost organic waste from the City of Lelystad as well as other communities that belong to the municipal cooperative HVC.


Orgaworld is active in the field of organic waste treatment and focuses on the processing of organic waste into final products such as energy, fuels and fertilizers. Orgaworld operates aerobic as well as anaerobic systems to treat the waste and does this in several facilities in both the Netherlands as in Canada.

4. DMT

A final stop was made to look at a pilot facility that looks to extract energy from algae.


DMT designs and builds standardized installations for biogas, air and water treatment. The area of expertise’s lays in: the treatment of air and odour abatement solutions, (bio)gas desulphurisation and upgrading and waste water treatment and aeration.



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