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Brent Delhaye


11 May 2023

Reading time

4 minutes

A day in the life of...Brent Delhaye: Waste Engineer at Milgro België

Ambitious professionals work at Milgro who work on our sustainable mission every day. What does it mean to work for a purpose organization? And how does this mission find its way into everyday life? We asked several colleagues to describe a day at Milgro.

Today it is Brent Delhaye's turn. He is Waste Engineer at Milgro Belgium and is the link between waste producing and waste receiving parties, or in Milgro jargon: discarders and receivers. Every day he is busy reducing residual waste at his discarders and using these residual streams as (an)organic feedstock at companies.

Rise and shine!

It is 7:00 a.m. when the alarm clock rings (and 7:10 a.m. when I get up). My day always starts with a walk with our dog Branka in a nearby forest. That way we wake up right away and she has already had her first movements of the day. Afterwards, I have breakfast and the workday can start. 

On Monday, I meet up with the other Belgian colleagues at the Meetdistrict in the Ghelamco Arena in Ghent. We have a flexible office there, with a view of the central soccer square. I have to disappoint Buffalo fans if they think they can catch a free match here, because two hours before the game, the curtains close automatically. Other than that, the place is buzzing with life and we are always super motivated to talk about how our week was and what we are going to focus on this week. 

For the time being, there are only three of us in Belgium, but that has the advantage that we can communicate very quickly with each other and adapt quickly. Milgro Belgium  has been in existence for a few months and I really have the feeling that we are building something beautiful together. We already have an experienced team that knows how the waste market works and knows where we can bring certain flows to contribute to a more beautiful planet. I also like the fact that my job is to look for new parties in Belgium that are working on circularity of waste streams, that way you feel you can contribute a lot to CO2 reduction and so much more.


Time to team

At 10:00 a.m., I grab a coffee before starting the weekly Teams meeting with my Dutch colleagues (Waste Engineers). The teams meeting starts with a "good news" round from everyone before we get down to business for the day and week. I only see my Dutch colleagues once a month in real life in Rotterdam, so it's always nice to hear and see them via webcam. Fortunately during the week you also have quick contact for a question via email, WhatsApp, Teams, phone, and so on.

During the meeting we discuss, among other things, what we did last week, which waste streams we want to redirect to save euros and eco's, and where we can go to better valorize a certain waste stream. An ideal time to consult colleagues and their knowledge and to help our customers further.

When noon comes around, I go get a sandwich (or maybe a salad today?) at a Dutch supermarket under the Meet District, that way the Dutch connection is not far away at all. Plenty of choice and before you know it, you're already looking back at the soccer field. I normally stay at the Ghelamco Arena for the rest of the day, but I have an appointment with a client for an annual plan meeting at 1:30 p.m., so I say salut to my colleagues and get in the car.

On the road

Annual plan meetings are fun presentations: it's a chance to take a moment to reflect with your client on what happened last year in terms of resources, how well they did and where we see room for improvement. I also always take some time to walk through their site with them, additional points of interest always come up then. The nice thing about these visits is that you always end up in new surroundings. One day you're walking through a huge warehouse that's full of tobacco, and the next day you're looking at containers in a French fry factory. During visits, I pay particular attention to how a company can sort better, how they currently collect waste and in what ways we can make it all more efficient, safer, ecological or economical.


End of Day

Around 3 p.m. I'm already back in the car heading home, where I have a desk in the corner of the living room. I could also sit in our attic, but downstairs I'm still close to my (currently pregnant) girlfriend and dog. We only meet in the office on Mondays, all other days I work from home. At first I thought that working from home was not going to be for me, and that I would be easily distracted, but nothing could be further from the truth. You have no commuting stress and are hardly interrupted by colleagues who come in for a chat. Only for urgent matters am I called, which ensures that my productivity is actually very high!

I put some more notes on mail and in the system from the visit, complete my to-do list and put the photos from the visit on the cloud. Tomorrow I have a data analysis scheduled for a client, where I'll be looking in their numbers to see where there are opportunities for improvement. But that's for tomorrow, now I'm done! The weather is beautiful today, so I take something fresh from the fridge and enjoy the day some more. Santé!

Sustainability and working from home

I do think it's great that Milgro lets its employees work from home so much, and has a lot of confidence in this. It was one of the points I ticked off to work for Milgro, but applying sustainability in companies and that different view on waste are still the main reasons why I started. It's also nice to be part of the cradle of the new division in Belgium, and a chance to make our mark on the circular economy around us.

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