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Take-back service trials

In 2018, VELUX Netherlands launched a take-back service for VELUX roof windows as part of the effort to increase recycling of construction waste. From May to December, 500 windows were collected, disassembled and recycled. 2019 will see growing volumes as the awareness of the service grows among private home owners and professional builders. 

Every year, the construction sector in the Netherlands generates 23 million tons of construction waste. Within the social housing sector, which owns about 30 % of the houses in the Netherlands, there is a growing trend to apply sustainability criteria in the purchasing policies. Two important criteria are circularity and social responsibility.

 “We welcome the sustainable approach of the social housing sector, which fits our ambition to be a sustainable company. As part of this, it makes a lot of sense that we help ensure that materials like glass, wood, metals and plastic in our windows are recycled. With the take-back service in place, we take an important step in supporting the circular economy ambitions of social housing companies and our own company ”, says Ronald Bal, Business Process Manager at VELUX Netherlands.


Recycling and social responsibility go hand in hand

It took a good year of planning to get the take-back service up and running with three external partners within logistics, disassembly and recycling of materials. 

We have teamed up with leading experts in waste management and recycling. But equally important, we work together with a social business that employs disabled people, who cannot work without support. This company helps to disassemble the windows and getting them ready for the recycling processes. In this way, recycling and social responsibility go hand in hand."

Ronald Bal, Business Process Manager at VELUX Netherlands.

VELUX Netherlands cooperates with world leading waste recovery and recycling company SUEZ in running the take-back service for roof windows. The wood, glass, metals and plastic are sent to recycling facilities, where they are processed and then sold as recycled materials that can be used in other products.


Project market is picking up

The take-back service in the Netherlands is available for both private home owners and professional builders. So far, the majority of the recycled windows, however, have been recovered from the social housing sector. 

 The take-back service is offered at cost price, making it cheaper for installers to use this service than disposing of the waste.

 “We have gained valuable insights during the first months of running this service. In the coming years, we hope to scale up and professionalise the service so that it becomes even more attractive. Among others, we plan to implement an online platform for ordering, which will make it easier for home owners and builders to use the take-back service”, says Ronald Bal.