I am Bert Claessens and I have been working for Indaver for 17 years, in the Thermal Treatment department at the Antwerp site. I started out as an operator and now I have worked my way up to Assistant Shift Manager with a team of six operators and three fork-lift truck drivers. Our team is responsible for proper incineration of the solid and liquid waste flows that arrive here. Guaranteeing optimal safety, capacity and efficiency is a lot of work. There are all kind of factors involved.
During combustion, energy is released in the form of steam. We use this steam to produce electricity with our turbine and also to heat our buildings. The gases in the smoke are also optimally purified. It is nice to know that the whole process is tackled sustainably.
I started here when I was 20 years old. I wasn’t much of a student, so my parents suggested taking a year out and getting some work experience. You know, so that I’d find out what work really is (he laughs). But once I got here I never left. Except after eight years, when I spent a year and a half travelling around the world. On the other side of the world I realised I actually really liked working at Indaver. That has a lot to do with the people themselves. The atmosphere is really good. My motto is: a day without laughter is a day you haven’t lived. And believe me: we have a good laugh here every day.
Of course we have to work hard too. But we have the freedom to organise our work ourselves. We work in a shift system: one day the early shift, the next day a night shift, then two days off. You do need to get used to that rhythm, but it has a lot of benefits too. For example, I can often collect my three children from school. What is more, there is a great shift bonus that is a significant advantage.
I advise people who are just starting here to open their eyes and ears and be curious. You will get the space you need to get used to the job and get to know your colleagues. Be enthusiastic, be aware of what you are doing and prove your worth. After all, you get enough opportunities here to build up a good career. I’m living proof of that.
“I actually really like working at Indaver. That has a lot to do with the people themselves. The atmosphere is really good. My motto is: a day without laughter is a day you haven’t lived. And believe me: we have a good laugh here every day.”
Bert Claessens, Assistant Shift Manager