Highlights of 2023

Our impact in 2023

Saying goodbye to old appliances, that was Recupel's continued commitment in 2023. Through various actions and campaigns, we managed to encourage even more Belgians to give their old appliances a second life.

Speed dating with Recupel

How do you encourage the reuse of electrical appliances? By focusing on both the quantity and quality of collection, while also creating the best possible matches among second-hand stores, retailers and manufacturers of electrical appliances!

For the first edition of the Recupel Speeddate, we played matchmaker for some 50 businesses from within the social and ‘mainstream’ economy. We employed a software tool to link the right profiles – based on region, requirements and specialisations – and scheduled speed dates accordingly. Over one morning, address books were updated and new partnership opportunities were discussed. Our matchmaking efforts are now continuing through a dedicated Linkedin group.

Recupel partners up with Nostalgie and L'Ilôt

For the third year in a row, Recupel and Nostalgie joined forces for Mission Recyclage, which involved inviting residents of Zinnik, Auderghem, Jambes and Bierghes to hand in their old electrical appliances. In 2023, Recupel and Nostalgie also teamed up with L’Ilôt, a non-profit organisation active in Brussels and Wallonia that has been fighting homelessness for over 60 years. Also on board were R.APP.EL – Resources Restor, Les Petits Riens, La Poudrière, Retrival and Electro Sofie. The repaired appliances were donated to people in precarious positions, waiting for the non-profit organisation to find them a new home. At the same time, appliances beyond repair were recycled into new raw materials.

AB & Black Box Revelation

Recycling? There’s music in that, as evidenced by Black Box Revelation’s performance at the AB, in partnership with Recupel, where anyone who recycled two discarded old phones could enjoy an exclusive concert on 28 January 2024. The aim? To collect 3,000 old mobile phones.

According to a recent Recupel survey, some one and a half million old mobile phones are lying unused in Belgian homes. Many materials contained within those smartphones can be recycled – including materials that are increasingly in-demand today, such as cobalt and palladium. We are therefore playing all the right notes when it comes to resource scarcity.

Mega Mindy teaches kids about recycling

Shaping minds for the future. Recupel has had a long-standing commitment to education. By encouraging good behaviours in children, we can perhaps also generate a positive impact on their parents’ behaviour.

In 2023, Recupel launched a new collection campaign with Studio 100, which saw K3 and the cast of Galaxy Park call for people to bring discarded electronic toys, along with any other unused electronic devices, to the Big Sinterklaas Show, in exchange for a sustainable reward. Meanwhile, Mega Mindy helped Mega Toby and kids in Flanders to properly recycle.

A study into reuse and repair service usage

When it comes to repairing or buying second-hand electrical appliances, the entire household electronics repair sector generated a turnover of just under €120 million in 2021, and employed some 900 workers. This was revealed by a recent study on reuse and repair service usage, conducted by research agency Möbius on behalf of Recupel. The study will be repeated every five years.

One of the most striking figures is that one in four Belgians had an appliance repaired in 2021. That’s not to say, however, that they did not come up against any barriers in doing so. That is why Recupel is making it a priority to inform and raise awareness among consumers. Over the course of 2024, for instance, we plan to share a map for this very purpose via our website, allowing consumers to easily find where they can get their appliances repaired locally.

Electricals are not for the scrapheap

Some 14% of waste electrical appliances (WEEE) end up on the scrapheap. This is according to Recupel’s four-yearly ‘Massbalans’ study, which also tracks how close we are to the European target of collecting and properly disposing of 65% of WEEE.

By bringing their electronic waste to recycling centres and declaring this waste stream to Recupel or BeWeee, scrap dealers can make a big difference. To encourage this, Recupel is providing improved compensation as part of its new agreements for Recupel approved recyclers.