In 2016 Belgians became more aware than ever of the importance of urban mining
With things like an action to raise the awareness of students, a new website, two large-scale media campaigns, a further increase in the number of stores having become collection points and an active PR component, Recupel in 2016 was able to make the Belgians more aware than ever of the increasing importance of the proper collection and reprocessing of electrical and electronic waste.
To begin with, in 2016 work was done on positioning Recupel in the area of Public Relations and Public Affairs, with the intention of leveraging its name recognition and highlighting the organisation’s social importance. To accomplish this Recupel has joined forces with many other organisations and institutions that have shown an interest in or are associated with recycling, urban mining and the circular economy. After all, a proper understanding of the e-waste problematic and the activities of Recupel by as many stakeholders as possible is of great importance for guaranteeing a further positive evolution of Recupel´s activities. The concrete result of this increased attention for (media) relations has already been a sharp increase in the number of newspaper articles, radio interviews and TV reports devoting attention to Recupel’s important role in electro-recycling in Belgium.
In order to specifically raise the awareness of the Belgian student population, in 2016 Recupel opened “Café Recupel”. For this action, where students get the chance to bring in electrical and electronic waste in an easily accessible way, we collaborated intensively with Recycling shops and the intermunicipal utility companies. Both are mentioned in the communications about each event, and are present on site in order to check the devices brought in for their reuse potential. Thus in 2016 six cafés were organised, distributed across the country´s three regions. Apart from the collection of old electrical and electronic equipment, this initiative also generated a good deal of media attention.
Recupel's new website
In addition, Recupel´s new website was launched in 2016. This has been further elaborated as the basic platform for Recupel´s contact with consumers and companies. In coming years, moreover, our own channels will be receiving a more important role in external communication. In 2016 the digital communication efforts were already recognised with a Digital Marketing Award in the Non-profit category. Like most organisations, Recupel is digitising more and more aspects of its operation. This ensures greater efficiency, but also requires a certain vigilance. In this context, in 2016 Recupel decided to have an “ethical hacking” conducted on its IT systems, a test that was successfully concluded.
Finally, it appears from the 2016 collection figures that the media campaigns focusing on small electrical and electronic devices and lamps were also well worth the effort. The "use your head" and "lamp ladies" campaigns had a measurable effect that was significantly reinforced by the combination with the expansion of the RecyclePoints : recognisable collection points at visible locations in store chains and retail. When we look at the tonnage, almost 10% more small electrical and electronic devices were collected and 5% more lamps than the preceding year; in 2016, the quantity of collected equipment went up 20% and over 21%, respectively.
Collection points and campaigns lifted the quantity of collected small electrical and electronic devices by 20%