The port first and foremost aims to prevent waste production, e.g., with the reduced financial contribution for environmentally-friendly ships and our ambition to achieve zero pellet loss. When waste is produced, we encourage companies to consider re-use, recycling and energy recovery during waste processing. Companies and barges are responsible for the correct collection of their waste but also receive support so they choose the most sustainable option.

Selective waste collection

We focus on waste prevention. When this is impossible, we prefer reuse and recycling, which means waste must be properly sorted.

  • We have waste collection facilities for ship waste and cargo residues. Seagoing vessels pay a fixed fee for waste collection when they call at Antwerp. Part of this fee is refunded when they dispose of their waste in our waste collection centres;
  • The convention on the collection, deposit and reception of waste produced during navigation on the Rhine and inland waterways (CDNI) sets out clear agreements for forwarders and receivers of goods, about how to dispose of cargo residues.  Barge captains can transfer this waste to the bilge barge (for oil waste) or deposit it in the three recycling parks operated by the Port Authority. The waste is then transferred to a recognised waste collection company, once it has been collected in these four centres. Have a look at the impact of the CDNI in the past twenty years;
  • Every company in the port must keep a waste registry. The Flemish Public Waste Agency OVAM has further information about this;
  • Various companies in the Luithagen zone have organised a collective waste collection. Waste can also be collected more efficiently because of smart business park management.
  • We are also working on improving the process for gaseous cargo residues.
“MSC PSA European Terminal reviewed its waste policy. Where possible we replace our central waste recycling park for residual waste and PMD with rolling containers. This means we reduce the space needed to store the waste, save the money for a waste container park and ensure internal waste transport is safer and faster for our employees.” Ronny De Roef, Health and Safety Adviser. 

Waste as a raw material

The port wants to contribute to a circular economy. This means reusing by-products and waste as alternative raw materials. Antwerp’s port is perfectly suited for this as you can use all properly selected waste streams as a raw material. Your company will become less dependent on fossil resources as a result, contributing to stop or slow down climate change and strengthens the industrial cluster, which in turn increases our competitiveness and appeal.

  • When giving sites a new designation, the Port Authority aims to attract companies that uphold the principles of the circular economy.
  • Potentially polluting materials are transferred to Antwerp from around the world, where they get a second lease on life. These materials can be sustainably processed in specialised installations.
  • Parts of second-cars that are shipped to Africa and which are no longer used are transported back to Belgium for reuse or recycling. Toyota is one of several partners of the ‘Carloop’ project.

Preventing pollution

Since early 2014, the Antwerp Port Authority has monitored cleanliness in the port area with a cleanliness index. The measurement is based on the presence or absence of several parameters, such as fly-tipping and litter, the growth of weeds, damage to street infrastructure and so on.

  • Every day, Condor, a waste collection barge, removes drift waste from the water and the embankments.
  • The port also organises its annual “Operation Clean Sweep” in the Galgeschoor nature reserve to clean up litter.