Arie de Jong, Managing Director ARN, “Stronger by joining forces”
ARN Auto Recycling is a member of the Dutch Association for Producer Responsibility (Vereniging Producentenverantwoordelijkheid Nederland – VPN), which was established in 2011. Since the middle of last year, ARN director Arie de Jong has been chairman of VPN, a role in which he aims to promote cooperation between organisations involved in taking up producer responsibility for end-of-life products.
The importance of sound cooperation
As director of ARN, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of sound cooperation. It is essential if we are to achieve our goals that we operate a smoothly-functioning recycling chain in which dismantling and shredder companies are essential links. Nonetheless, we also look for opportunities for cooperation beyond our own sector. Against that background, ARN became a member of the Vereniging Producentenverantwoordelijkheid Nederland (VPN) as soon as this association was established in 2011. VPN is an association of organisations that take up the responsibility incumbent upon producers and importers for collecting and recycling waste material and end-of-life devices.
Although the VPN members all have their own goals, we also all share a common interest. We can exchange knowledge between us, and by joining forces we achieve a stronger position in consultations with the government. Halfway through last year, I became chairman of VPN, taking over from Laurens ten Horn of Stibat. Over the coming period I will be making every effort to further expand the activities of VPN.
Focus on enforcement
One overarching problem for all members of VPN is enforcement by the various competent bodies. We have initiated positive and constructive discussions with government on this subject. This calls for considerable patience, but without proper enforcement, there is insufficient knowledge of leakage flows and the processing of waste materials, making it more difficult for us to achieve our goals. And the overall loser is the environment! For that reason, VPN published a position paper entitled ‘Samen Slim Handhaven’ (Smart Joint Enforcement) in 2013. With this document, we aim to help the 28 Regional Implementation Services in the Netherlands to improve and harmonise the way in which they carry out their tasks.
Recycle manager app
Another positive initiative is the free app ‘Recyclemanager’ developed by VPN, to which more and more municipalities are now signing up. This app makes it very easy for consumers to find the correct disposal locations for their end-of-life products and devices. The aim of the app is twofold, namely to collect more waste and to improve waste separation. As a consequence, valuable raw materials are recovered while harmful substances are processed in the correct manner. And those are objectives we all share.