Volunteer Jordy Delahaije: doing something about a problem starts in your own environment. The amount of litter that can be found in our streams and rivers is enormous. Many volunteers are committed to removing and analyzing the litter. They do this based on their own personal motivation, but companies also find this increasingly important. Such as the company Bizzomate, for which our volunteer Jordy Delahaije works as a consultant. We take you into Jordy’s world of thinking and show you what moves him.
An employer with a high social commitment
”At Bizzomate we make so-called ‘web apps’. These are applications that you can use from your browser. We use the low-code development platform Mendix to build these web applications,” says Jordy Delahaije. “My employer gives every employee the opportunity to spend 10% of their time on socially responsible causes. They really see this as a major investment to make the world a better place and to deploy their employees in a targeted manner. As a company, we really want to invest in this,” Jordy continues. “There are many social initiatives that we can work on. I have previously worked at a care farm. At one point I thought ‘What really annoys me’? That’s litter. Even on my vacation I get annoyed by this. I have always admired the plastic soup initiative. But because that was a bit too far away from my bed, I started at Schone Rivieren as a river researcher.”
With your boots in the mud
Jordy Delahaije has been committed to the project: Schone Beken of Waterschap Limburg for some time now. Like the Schone Rivieren network and LIVES, the project aims to reduce the amount of plastic in rivers. These projects naturally work together in this. Jordy: “I have been looking for an organization that is involved in nature conservation and is also involved in reducing plastic waste in nature. I was already in contact with Noï Boesten of IVN/Schone Rivieren/MaasCleanUp through other channels. Originally, we registered with the company for the clean-up campaigns and investigations from IVN, as a volunteer. We have been asked to help with the Geul investigation. We have been doing this for over a year now. I am the primary contact person from Bizzomate. I made sure that we followed a training course at IVN with about five people (colleagues). That way we can also alternate. We are all excited about this and are free to participate. All participating colleagues do this to make Limburg cleaner. It is also nice to spend half a day outside, with your gloves in the litter instead of glued to a screen in your office chair.”
Jordy Delahaije, what does the investigation at the Geul entail?
Jordy’s group works together with the waterschap Limburg. Waterschap Limburg ensures that waste is collected at certain water mills. These bags are marked with location and date. “We check these bags once a month. Not always a nice job”, says Jordy, “we get our hands dirty. With a so-called ‘peat list’ (also used by IVN) we see exactly what we encounter. We also take pictures of the items. Photos illustrate the magnitude of the problem and also show a tendency in items found. We try to find causes and make connections by looking at the type of item, packaging, the quantities found and the location. In this way we hope to find out what the source of the waste is so that we can start the conversation to solve the problem together. In addition, this gives us the opportunity to think about other preventive measures.”
Whatever you find…..!
“Sometimes you’re amazed at what you find,” Jordy continues. “We found a lot of tennis balls somewhere. And of course you will also find a lot of the same stuff around the turn of the year, often burned. Logical, but disappointing. You hope that people will handle the leftovers of fireworks sensibly, but unfortunately enough people do not yet clean it up properly, so that it ends up in surface water. We also found a lot of plastic planters at the last count. You then wonder why this is thrown into the water and not put in a PMT bag. Small effort, right?”
Jordy Delahaije is proud of all the positive reactions
Jordy receives only positive reactions from his environment to the fact that he and his colleagues are so actively involved in this project, but also at foundations with social problems, care farms or, for example, as a buddy. He and his colleagues hope that good example will follow. “Many people are surprised that we are allowed to use 10% of our working time for these kinds of social activities, but to be honest that also increases the pleasure in your work. Something completely different but something very useful. And it also creates togetherness. In addition, it not only broadens your horizon, but also your network! You come into contact with people you might never have met otherwise. But especially the fact that you help to solve a problem is satisfying. We will continue for a while!”
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