Reuse: the new normal

When you think of construction and renovation, you think of waste. We limit this waste mountain by reusing materials as much as possible.

Change in mentality

Christophe De Waele, Buildings division manager, stresses the importance of reuse: "It's a change in mentality. Instead of wondering which waste mountain something should go to, we ask ourselves the question: 'How can we reuse this material?'. We prefer not to give materials a final destination but a next destination. A small change with a big impact on our ecological footprint."

We put this theory to practice with concrete actions. When emptying a store that will be renovated, we examine for each (construction) material or product which destination it should have. "First, we try to reuse things on site. For example, we avoided placing a completely new sectional door while renovating our Colruyt store in Merksem simply by revising the current one", says site manager Bart Fieuw.

Extra advantages

Other materials, that can't be reused on the same location, go to our warehouse in Halle until they are given a second life. "Our 'recup warehouse' with electric materials is a prime example of that. By taking a look there first, our technicians avoid having to order a lot of new components", explains Rudy Deneyer, who coordinates the warehouse.

Chances are that there's a recuperated piece available of that LED fitting or junction box they are looking for. "An additional advantage of these recuperated junction boxes is that they, contrary to new ones, are partially assembled. This means we also save some time thanks to our reuse", Rudy says.

Optimal sorting

Not all reusable materials stay in the company. To avoid that such things end up on the waste mountain, they go to our second-hand store Tweeco. The offer varies depending on what we recover from our stores and ranges from fridges over switches to stairs.

Finally, there are some things we can't reuse immediately in their current form unfortunately. Think of electricity cables that are no longer in accordance with the current norms. However, even for these kinds of materials we always think about reuse. By optimally sorting this 'waste', we facilitate recycling by specialised companies.

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