Every minute Switzerland produces 45 tonnes of waste
Photo: Tomothy Fadek, Polaris Images
According to an article published by "Umvelt Perspektiven", every year, Switzerland produces 24 million tonnes of waste - this is a big challenge for people and nature.
The "Ent-Sorge" report published by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) aims to tackle the issue of waste and examines what amounts are disposed of in Switzerland, why the quantities are constantly increasing, the effects of this waste on the environment and how waste can be avoided.
Unlike people, all Waste is not equal: 65% or around 15.5 million tonnes is construction waste: concrete, brick, plaster, wood, metals and plastics. A large part, about 80%, of the building material can be recycled and reused.
When it comes to municipal waste, i.e., household waste, having a similar composition as trade waste, around 50% of this could actually be recycled. The rest is burned.
Municipal waste represents a quarter of all waste produced in Switzerland. This amounts to a staggering 700 kilos per head a year. A large part of the recyclable material are still burned - especially true for organic waste. Instead of being used to make energy, as raw materials in composting and / or anaerobic digesters, about half of this ends up in dirty incineration plants. A local dairy product producer estimates that it costs CHF 200.00 to incinerate 1 tonne of waste!
The remaining 11% of the total produced waste is divided into two categories: special waste (10%) and sewage sludge (1%).
Avoid - reduce - recycle
Although Switzerland is exemplary in terms of its waste disposal, this amount of waste still does have a negative impact on people and the environment, not just locally but globally too.
Adopting the principle of "avoid - reduce - recycle", whose necessary measures include more responsible consumption, reuse of products, and improved material and thermal utilization of waste materials Switzerland on the 19 July 2016 at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at the United Nations in New York presented its initial steps towards their implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
"We support this challenge and aim to operate a distributed portfolio of on-site, modular and small scale anaerobic digesters in Switzerland. Having friendly bugs eat waste at source reduces costs and CO2 emissions."
One of the challenges we have with our Swiss business model is what to do with the organic fertiliser (PAS110) our machines produce and we are looking for wholesale offtakers and other commercial ideas to help us solve this part of the puzzle.
If you can, please do reach out!