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Reference case – Oxfam Belgium

Home » Reference case – Oxfam Belgium

Fnac Vanden Borre reduces the number of transports & containers through smarter internal organization

Oxfam Belgium is an NGO that fights against inequality and for economic justice. Together with 3.200 local organizations it is active in more than 90 countries. With their slogan 'The Power of People against Poverty' they help 25 million women, men and children to climb out of poverty with development projects, emergency aid and awareness raising.

 

Through its second-hand department, Oxfam Belgium is always looking for used items (textiles, books, toys, brocante, computers,...) to sort and then sell in one of its 30 second-hand shops. With the proceeds, the organization supports social goals and social employment. But the search for those things also has its challenges. Unfortunately, among all the beautiful things that Oxfam receives, there are regularly non-reusable items that end up in industrial waste.

 

In its fight for Climate Justice, the organization strives to reuse as much as possible and to throw away as little as possible, let alone incinerate and thus lose the products and its raw materials.

How do you effectively reduce residual waste?

To better sort its waste, Oxfam Belgium looked for a partner with expertise in the recycling sector. They found it in 2021 with Recycling Partners Belgium (RPB). RPB relieves companies of their total waste and materials management. As an independent partner, the company focuses on sustainability, optimal waste valorisation and total unburdening.

 

RPB assists its customers in reducing their residual waste to be incinerated with the aim of achieving higher recycling scores and ultimately saving an average of 60% CO2 and reducing costs. Thanks to RPB's expertise and connections, the collaboration with Oxfam Belgium quickly turned out to be a good match.

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It was clear from the start that there were similarities in the DNA of Oxfam Solidarity and that of RPB. Prevention of waste and reuse of materials is the common denominator. Through a hands-on approach from both sides, we have jointly managed to get the waste and materials management of Oxfam's logistics center and its stores under control and we are on the road to better together.

Stijn Smetsers
Partner at RPB

Analyze, reorganize and recycle

At the start of the collaboration, RPB carried out a Quickscan: it mapped out waste and materials management in Oxfam's central sorting center and later also in the organization's second-hand shops. This analysis soon showed that there were still various materials in the residual waste that could be recycled.

 

After this analysis, the two partners rolled up their sleeves and reorganized the source sorting together. They did that by:

♻️ Adjust the policy by reviewing which fractions needed to be sorted.
♻️ Provide additional internal and bulk collection containers.
♻️ Designate local and specialist processors.
♻️ Train the staff & provide the correct instructions.

 

In this way, fractions such as hard plastics, colored foil and ceramics are now also collected, removed and processed separately. Another method of collecting ICT equipment was also set up in consultation with Oxfam.

Oxfam Belgium's mission is close to RPB's heart. That is why, in addition to reducing industrial waste, she also wanted to devote herself to the search for high-quality items that Oxfam can offer its customers. RPB followed suit and deployed its customers and partner network to highlight Oxfam Belgium's activities and to promote its activities. In this way, RPB encourages its connections to donate and reuse items instead of throwing them away as waste.

What has the collaboration with RPB brought?

After one year of working with RPB, the result for Oxfam is impressive. Since 2021, the organization has 20% less residual waste† A great result of which Oxfam Belgium and RPB can rightly be proud.

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RPB is the right partner for us at the right time. When optimizing our waste processing, RPB always helps us to find solutions that keep the right balance between the social, ecological and economic aspects.

Lien Baeten
Responsible for the management of the second-hand department,
Oxfam Belgium

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