Waste-Collection Leader Van Gansewinkel Puts the Emphasis on Adding Value

Van Gansewinkel Belgium has been providing reliable waste services since 1968. Founded in the Netherlands in 1964, the Van Gansewinkel Group now operates 580 trucks in 21 locations and collects around 1.5 million tonnes of waste every year. The company’s four core activities are waste collection (including transporting containers), sorting (of wood products, residential and industrial waste, etc.), processing to add value to waste, and providing integral waste-management solutions for clients.

Wim Geens, Director for Belgium and Luxembourg, describes Van Gansewinkel’s innovative value-adding operations. He says, “Out of combustible industrial waste, we make SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel) and RDF (Refuse-Derived Fuel). We also transform a lot of wood into certain specifications for our clients and for biomass installations, and we produce new end products for industry. We also do a lot of composting.” One of the company’s popular services is to handle all a client’s waste-management needs. Van Gansewinkel’s customers for this service include Philips and Desso.

Focus on recycling

Van Gansewinkel has grown organically over the years, primarily through acquisitions, including of Veolia in 2011. The company has decentralised its management structure so that each country operation has its own system, but all follow the corporate development strategy. Wim Geens explains, “We focus on and are swiftly shifting towards sorting and processing activities, because these have more potential for future growth. However, we still need the backbone of our collection services, which have been our main activity for 40 years, because we collect the products to which we add value.” He adds that around 70% of the group’s turnover is from collection services and 30% from recycling, but that he expects these percentages to be reversed in five years.

Van Gansewinkel’s focus on not just collecting waste but also adding value to it sets the company apart from other enterprises in its field. Defining his company’s competitive edge, Wim Geens says, “We are not the market leader in numbers, but we are the market’s innovation leader in handling raw materials and making end products out of waste. ‘Waste no more’ has been our motto since 2007 and we were the first company in our sector to focus on that concept. Van Gansewinkel is always a step ahead of the competition. We also aim to expand our waste-management services, a market segment where we see outstanding growth potential.” Van Gansewinkel welcomes international partnerships.