Optimising waste sorting and collection at a large zoo in Belgium

Collecting waste in a large wildlife theme park without disturbing the animals or visitors was the challenge that SUEZ took up for Belgium’s Planckendael Zoo in 2015. Selective collection that respects the animals’ wellbeing and the environment was the solution chosen to optimise waste stream management in this vast 100-acre wildlife park.
The mission

Organising waste collection at a very busy tourist attraction 

Planckendael Zoo is situated in Malines in Belgium, between Brussels and Antwerp. 
Strongly committed to environmental protection, Planckendael is working to drastically reduce its environmental impact and its carbon footprint. The zoo called on SUEZ to help it manage its recyclable, organic and residual waste streams.
To accomplish its assignment, SUEZ had to cope with a number of constraints including the park’s topography, the number of visitors and the presence of the animals.
total surface area of the wildlife park
of waste in 2014 
for all RZSA institutions (including Antwerp Zoo, Planckendael etc.)
Our solutions

Improving sorting methods and collection flow whilst maintaining the park’s tranquillity

Improving sorting methods and collection flow whilst maintaining the park’s tranquillity

SUEZ completely redesigned waste collection at Planckendael Zoo by:
  • improving the standard of sorting with a view to recovering waste
  • respecting the welfare of the animals and reorganising the areas open to the public.

Improving the standard of sorting to recover waste

As a wildlife theme park, Planckendael generates a wide variety of both recyclable and residual waste. Waste sorting is a high priority for the zoo because it is strongly committed to environmental protection:
  • special bins and containers (organic waste, wood, paper, cardboard, metal and glass) have been placed in strategic locations around the park 
  • drinks sold in metal cans have been replaced by bottles which can be recovered along with paper and cardboard recyclable waste.

Collecting waste without disturbing the animals and visitors

Waste collection from an area of over 100 acres has been ingeniously organised to suit the park’s specificities and the number of visitors:
  • a little train selectively collects wheelie bins that are coupled together
  • the bins are taken to a storage area containing pre-sorted waste.
The results

A significant reduction in waste

A significant reduction in waste

The solutions implemented by SUEZ have enabled Planckendael Zoo to significantly reduce the amount of residual waste created by visitors. Between 2014 and 2015, residual waste dropped from 450 tonnes to less than 325 tonnes.
Another result was a 75% reduction in bulky waste which dropped from 100 tonnes in 2014 to just 25 tonnes in 2015.
These excellent results in voluntary separation and waste collection have encouraged Planckendael Zoo to continue innovating to reduce its environmental impact. It has installed a wastewater treatment plant and a biogas production unit using animal manure.
of residual waste saved between 2014 and 2015 
for all RZSA institutions (including Antwerp Zoo, Planckendael etc.)
less bulky waste between 2014 and 2015
for all RZSA institutions (including Antwerp Zoo, Planckendael etc.)