Biotech Campus Delft ensures a good relationship with local residents

The Biotech Campus Delft wants to be a “good neighbor” for local residents. What does that mean? That is what we asked manager Site Affairs Peter Weerdenburg and manager Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE) Thom van Eyck.

“Normally, you hardly smell us or hear us,” says SHE manager Thom van Eyck. “What you smell from fermentation, for example, is the alcohol. When yeast is produced through fermentation, some alcohol is always produced. In the past, alcohol was even a product sold by the ‘Nederlandsche Gist- en Spiritusfabriek' (as DSM in Delft used to be called). Nowadays, the production of alcohol is so limited that it can no longer be smelled. If more alcohol is produced, the process is automatically stopped. But what if, nevertheless, there is odor or noise nuisance? Then please call the free telephone number 0800-0231341. It is available day and night, 24/7. It could be that we ourselves are not yet aware that something is going on. Once we know, we can intervene and solve it.” In addition, neighbors can always (also) inform the DCMR Environmental Service in case of complaints via Van Eyck: “That is independent from our environmental complaints number.” 

Solve and inform 

A phone call is always followed up. “After any report, we come over to smell and listen ourselves within thirty minutes. And we always call back during the day to say how we are going to solve it. In the event of repeated (odor) complaints, we invite the caller to come and smell on our premises. For example, a specific odor was recently detectable at the wastewater treatment plant. We are now going to find out what causes it and do something about it.”

“If we expect nuisance due to special projects at the location, we will notify the neighborhood in advance via a letter,” says manager Site Affairs Peter Weerdenburg. “Like during two recent major demolition projects (see article on page 4). During this, the piercing beep of reversing trucks was often heard. That was unavoidable but should have finished at five o'clock in the afternoon. When that did not work immediately, we discussed this and resolved it." 

Notifications on website 

“Usually everything on the Campus goes according to plan,” says Van Eyck, “but not always. If something happens that triggers the emergency plan, emergency services can come to the campus with flashing lights. That makes local residents understandably curious. That is why we will always tell you what happened on the website of the Biotech Campus Delft within 2 working days.”

Local residents evening 

For two years, COVID-19 prevented the Local Residents Evening, at which the Biotech Campus Delft informs neighbors and interested parties about recent developments. But last July 5, 2022, the Biotech Campus Delft was finally able to receive local residents again. Van Eyck: “It was a busy evening with the opportunity to ask questions and visit the site. We showed visitors around in groups. People were very interested and said they enjoyed it. That also makes it a lot of fun for us to do!” 

Park freely accessible 

At the Meeslaan, there is a strip of DSM grounds with grass and trees outside the fence. Weerdenburg: “That 'doggy park' is freely accessible. We have a gardener who mows the lawn and does pruning at regular intervals. This year, some extra trees, shrubs and flower bulbs have also been planted. Should trees blow over or branches fall into gardens, please call us. However, we won’t install trash cans here. Anyone can use the park, provided that it is done properly. We expect that visitors will keep the park clean for their own pleasure and that of others.”