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Waste Management & Recycling Scenario: Switzerland

Prepared for: Mr. Sheikh Morshed Jahan Associate Professor Course Instructor: Bangladesh Studies Course Code: G201

Prepared by:

Safa Tasneem (RQ-17) Sakub Amin (ZR-10) Farwah Tasnim (RQ-40)

Date of Submission: May 19, 2012 Institute of Business Administration University of Dhaka

Since the beginning of the 20th century the population of Switzerland has more than doubled. In 1900 there were 3.3 million inhabitants in Switzerland which rose to 7.8 million people in 2009. The gross domestic product increased in 2009 by 27%, while consumption expenditure rose by 28% to 310 billion francs. Household consumption expenditure grew between 1990 and 2009 at about the same rate as the economy. Since 1990, the waste mountain has grown by 33%. This increase is a consequence of population and economic growth. In the year 2009 around 19.4 million tons of wastes were accumulated in total. Construction activities generated the most waste in 2009 with around 12 million tons, of which about 10 million tons were recovered. Municipal solid waste in the year 2009 was 700kg of waste per Swiss person. Hazardous waste, industrial and commercial waste and sewage sludge are also constantly increasing. Even if the volume of waste in Switzerland is constantly increasing, waste management and recovery procedures have been continually improving. For municipal solid waste, the proportion of separate collections and recovery was 51% of the total waste in 2009. In the year 2000 it was only 45%. The recycling rates of glass, aluminum cans, PET beverage bottles and paper are particularly high. The amount of waste that cannot be recycled could be reduced from the 1988 peak of 432 kg per person to 340 kg per person in the year 2009. Air pollutants produced by municipal waste incineration are to a large extent retained by a multi-step purification and denitrification process, so that only slight quantities of pollutants are discharged into the atmosphere. By comparison with traffic, heating systems and industrial furnaces, the MSWIs make only a slight contribution to environmental pollution today. Littering, the inconsiderate dropping or leaving of litter, is an increasing phenomenon that creates additional work for waste management operations. Litter-dropping creates annual costs of around 200 million francs. In 2009 around 3.3 million tons of municipal waste generated was incinerated and1.8 million tons of hazardous waste were specially treated or else exported for environmentally sound disposal under strictly monitored conditions. This hazardous waste stems mainly from
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remediation operations in contaminated facilities, which have to be concluded by 2025.

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Executive Summary..................................................................................................ii Table of Contents.....................................................................................................iv 1. Introduction........................................................................................................iv 1.1 BACKGROUND................................................................................................. v 1.2 ORIGIN OF THE REPORT.................................................................................vii 1.3 OBJECTIVES....................................................................................................vii 1.4 SCOPES AND LIMITATIONS............................................................................viii 2.1. MUNICIPAL WASTE.......................................................................................viii 2.2. HAZARDOUS WASTE .....................................................................................ix 3.1 LANDFILLING...................................................................................................ix 3.2 INCINERATION.................................................................................................xi 3.3. RECYCLING................................................................................................... xii 4.1 HOUSEHOLD WASTE MANAGEMENT..............................................................xiv 4.2 INDUSTRIAL WASTE MANAGEMENT..............................................................xvii 4.3 MEDICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT....................................................................xix 5.1 PLASTIC RECYCLING....................................................................................xxiii 5.2 E-WASTE RECYCLING...................................................................................xxiv 6.1 FOEN........................................................................................................... xxvi 6.2 SWISS RECYCLING.......................................................................................xxvi 6.3 BEVERAGE CONTAINERS ORDINANCE (2000)..............................................xxvi 6.4 SWICO........................................................................................................xxvii 6.5 ORDEA....................................................................................................... xxvii Figure 1: Core indicator Wastes from domestic sources1 ...................................xxviii Figure 2: Core indicator Recycling rate2 ............................................................xxviii Figure 3: Indicator Municipal solid waste collected separately3............................xxix Figure 4: Evolution of Recycling Rates by types of items4....................................xxix Figure 5: Indicator Municipal solid waste incinerated per person5.........................xxx

Waste management has become a burning issue both locally and globally today. Since waste generation is rising every year, it is having increasingly adverse effects on public health and the environment at large. Even the best waste management system in the world has shown that it cannot withstand the test of a global financial downturn; and with the global population, GDP
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per capita and therefore the amount of waste increasing exponentially, we must become aware of the consequences and take measures to mitigate it. Before addressing the issue, it is necessary to look at the best example of waste management worldwide. Examining the best systems successes and failures will provide a useful insight for a global strategy on waste management. From that perspective, the European Union is the most advanced continental waste management system and will serve as a basis of developing waste management schemes. The tradition of developing and using environmental technologies especially for waste management has existed in Switzerland for a long time. As early as the 1960s the country became a pioneer in this domain by rigorously installing treatment and incineration plants with stringent emission standards. Today it can be acknowledged that Switzerland has succeeded in moving from basic waste removal to an environmentally friendly process of waste disposal and recycling. Now, incineration plants are efficient power plants which produce clean heat and electricity. Therefore, among the countries in the EU, we have selected Switzerland since its waste management practices are not only considered to be one of the best in the world but also can be implemented in Bangladesh.

The Domestic Problems: Bangladesh has minimal waste collection coverage which forces majority of the waste to be dumped in open lands. These wastes are not disposed of properly, where general wastes are often mixed with hazardous waste such as medical waste. As such, these improperly disposed wastes pose serious health implications to the countrys people. Due to the lack of funding, there are also insufficient subsidies put in place for the issue of waste management in Bangladesh. Hence, there are essentially no proper disposal facilities to cater to the rapid creation of waste.1 The Upcoming Challenges: Amounts of waste are largely determined by two factors: first, the population in any given area, and second, its consumption patterns which are controlled by the evolution of Gross Domestic Product per Capita (GDP/c). Both will drive an increase in waste volumes. Remarkable changes in waste composition as well are imminent: the first will be due to changing food culture and habits in developing countries. As GDP/c goes up, it is expected that by 2050 the demand for agricultural goods will rise by 70% and the Page v of 36

demand for meat will double which will change the waste composition in a large part of the world. The organic fraction will be more dominant in Municipal Solid Waste (MSU); more agricultural and meat waste will create new problems to be faced. Also, such a change in waste composition will make the greenhouse gas challenge for waste management more difficult than it is already. If present waste management trends are maintained, landfilled food waste is predicted to increase world CH4 emissions by 41% and the landfill share of global anthropogenic emissions from 8% to 10%. The second serious change will be due to the production, consumption and inclusion in waste streams of more and more complex products. Personalized medicine, new computers and gadgets, networked homes and full home management systems, fully customized consumer products, personal security and personal energy products are coming or are already here. For example, the rapidly growing stream of electronic waste (WEEE) which is already a big problem, and directly related with the crime of waste trafficking. As the world becomes more and more networked and interconnected, and as electrical and electronic products, including PCs, gadgets, digital cameras, pervasive computing etc., are rapidly devalued and become waste due to fast update and built-in obsolescence, the WEEE stream will become a major challenge of future waste management. Therefore, it is imperative for Bangladesh to develop a sustainable waste management and recycling system in which it would adopt the global best practices in waste management to ensure better public health and environment.2 Switzerland as a role model for Bangladesh in Waste Management: Based on relevant statistics on a wide range of issues such as the Human Development Index, the Global Peace Index and the Environment index, Switzerland has been ranked 8th in the list of best countries in the world. It also came 2nd in the Sustainability Attainment Index. The producers of waste are responsible for its safe management and disposal; in terms of Swiss law, this means permanent, safe disposal of the waste in engineered repositories. Also, Switzerland is proud of its recycling efforts, and with good reason. There are bottle banks at every supermarket, with separate slots for clear, green and brown glass. Every town has a free paper collection once a month, and that does not mean just old newspapers; most people recycle everything made of cardboard or paper, from cereal packets to old telephone bills. Then there is green waste: if one has a garden, all the trimmings can be put out on the street every two weeks and be collected. Aluminium and tin can
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be taken to local depots, batteries handed over at the supermarket, and old oil or other chemicals deposited at special sites. Plastic PET bottles are the most common drinks containers in Switzerland, and 80% of them are recycled - far higher than the European average of 20 to 40%. But the Swiss do not recycle just because they care about the environment. There is a strong financial incentive. Recycling is free, but in most parts of Switzerland throwing away rubbish costs money - each rubbish bag has to have a sticker on it, and each sticker costs at least one euro (60 pence). All these practices can be easily implemented in Bangladesh, for which Switzerland stands as a role model for Bangladesh in the field of waste management and recycling.3


This report titled Switzerland: An Overview of the Waste Management and Recycling Scenarios has been written as a requirement of the course Bangladesh Studies as instructed by our course instructor Mr. Sheikh Morshed Jahan and has been submitted on May 19, 2012.


Explaining the necessity of recycling for managing wastes in Bangladesh Explaining current and probable global challenges for waste management and recycling To find out the status of waste management and recycling in Switzerland To explicate the waste management processes and practices in Switzerland To identify different sectors and describe the process of recycling in Switzerland To compare the waste management systems of Switzerland and Bangladesh To identify the best waste management and recycling practices in Switzerland that can be applied in Bangladesh. Recommending solutions for different stakeholders.

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The report will mainly concentrate on household, industrial, medical and Ewaste management practices and the recycling industry in Switzerland. The research will also try to identify prospects of a sustainable waste management and recycling industry in Bangladesh taking into account both current practices and untapped opportunities. Availability and reliability of data regarding waste management in Switzerland may work as a limitation factor for this report; in which case rough approximations with justifications will be made.






Waste consists of two general types: municipal, and hazardous. Municipal waste is refuse from households and small businesses; hazardous waste includes chemical, infectious or otherwise toxic waste.


In 2007, some 5.5 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were generated, which equates to approx. 720 kg per inhabitant. The percentage of all MSW collected separately was 51 % or 2.8 million tons. In 1989, the peak year to date for MSW incineration, the figure was only 27 %. Since then, the volume of segregated MSW has more than doubled from 160 to 370 kg per person per year. Today, half of all MSW are collected separately and recovered a ratio that has more than doubled over the past 20 years. The recycling principle was also applied very swiftly everywhere and Swiss recycling rates are among the highest in the world. The remaining wastes are incinerated in clean processes which generate electricity and heat, meeting some 2 % of the countrys final energy requirements. In recent years, the Swiss Confederations waste management policy has significantly reduced the level of environmental pressure caused by waste management despite continuous growth in the total volume of MSW arisings. This trend can be attributed to the introduction of high waste management standards, to a highly effective infrastructure, and to a financing system that makes the waste producers responsible for the costs of disposal. Nonetheless, even a highly effective waste policy is by itself insufficient in reducing the countrys overall consumption of resources.

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Since 2000, the total volume of hazardous waste in Switzerland has been approximately 1.2 million tons per year. Hazardous waste thus accounts for about 6 % of all waste. Hazardous wastes are consigned to special reprocessing, are disposed of within the country, or are exported in line with the provisions of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. In 2005, 43 % of the hazardous waste was incinerated, 22 % was landfilled after appropriate pretreatment, 23 % underwent chemical/physical treatment and 12 % was directly recycled. Chemical/physical treatment takes place mainly in Switzerland. This approach is applied to polluted wastewater, soil from contaminated site remediation and emulsions.4




In general, there are three main ways to dispose of waste: by incineration (burning), by landfilling (placing in a lined pit) or by recycling (collection and reuse). The type of waste determines how it is disposed of.

Non-recyclable wastes have to be treated and then deposited in landfills. The direct disposal of combustible waste in landfills was banned by law in January 2000. Municipal waste must now be incinerated, and landfills in Switzerland are to be used solely for the disposal of non-burnable waste. Switzerland has had sufficient incinerator capacity to implement this since 2004. The risk of contaminating the ground water supply was a significant factor in the decision to switch over to incineration. Landfills require very careful monitoring and in the case of problems cannot simply be switched off as an incinerator can. There are three different types of landfill in Switzerland: a) Landfills for inert materials: At landfills for inert materials, only rocklike wastes may be disposed of, from which virtually no pollutants will be leached out by rainwater. These include materials such as construction waste (concrete, bricks, glass, and road rubble) and uncontaminated soil that cannot be used elsewhere. At suitable locations, landfills for inert materials do not require any special sealing. They are thus less costly and require less monitoring than other types of landfill. Guidelines issued by FOEN specify the types of waste that may be disposed of at landfills for inert materials.
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b) Landfills for stabilized residues: They are designed for the disposal of materials of known composition, with high concentrations of heavy metals and only a small organic component, and which cannot release either gases or substances readily soluble in water. Typical materials include solidified fly ash and flue gas cleaning residues from municipal waste incinerators, and vitrified treatment residues. These sites are subject to more stringent requirements than landfills for inert materials. Impermeable linings are required for the base and sides of the landfill, and leachate is to be collected and, if necessary, treated.

c) Bioactive landfills: All other types of landfill-able waste have to be

disposed of at bioactive landfills, in which chemical and biological processes are expected to occur. At these sites, drainage controls are also required. In addition, any gases emitted are to be captured and treated. Given the unpredictable composition of their contents, bioreactor landfills are at greatest risk of requiring expensive remediation at a later date. Certain types of waste (e.g. incinerator slag) are required to be disposed of in separate compartments, isolated from other types of waste. If these wastes were intermixed, heavy metals would be leached out in much greater quantities as a result of the relatively low pH of incinerator slag. Compartments for residual wastes have also been established at numerous bioreactor landfill sites The Technical Ordinance on Waste (TVA) specifies stringent requirements for waste that is to be landfilled, particularly at sites designed for inert materials. Materials that may be disposed of in residual-waste landfills should generally yield a leachate that can be discharged to receiving waters without first being treated. Bioreactor landfills require long-term efforts to monitor and treat gases and contaminated leachate. The processes occurring within the landfill continue for decades and cannot, in the event of an incident, be "switched off" within a matter of hours like the furnace of a municipal waste incinerator. Over a period of decades, despite the use of gas capture systems, substantial amounts of methane and other undesirable gases are released into the atmosphere from bioreactor landfills. There is also a non-negligible risk of defects in sealing systems leading to contamination of groundwater. These crucial factors underlie the prohibition on the direct landfilling of municipal waste, sewage sludge and other types of combustible waste which came into effect on 2000.

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At the end of 2002, the total capacity available at bioreactor landfill sites was about 19.1 million cubic meters, including 10.8 million for incinerator slag. At landfills for stabilized residues, Switzerland has a reserve capacity of about 2.5 million cubic meters. With annual disposal volumes of just under 500,000 cubic meters of slag and 50,000 cubic meters of residual wastes, this capacity is sufficient for more than 25 years. With regard to reserve capacity at the inert-material landfills operating in this country, the data available are incomplete at present. Even if sufficient capacity is available overall, there is a lack of space for landfilling in geologically unfavorable regions. As a result of the rapid growth in waste streams, cantonal authorities will be forced to continue reviewing their landfill planning in a coordinated fashion. In addition, appropriate funding of landfill maintenance and aftercare will become increasingly important in future.

In Switzerland almost all combustible, non-recycled waste is actually incinerated in MSWs. The large majority of these materials end up in one of the country's 28 municipal solid waste (MSW) incinerators.

3.2.1 Municipal Waste

Since the introduction of the landfilling ban on 1 January 2000, all nonrecycled combustible waste in Switzerland must be incinerated in appropriate plants. In 2004 Switzerland's incineration capacity reached 3.29 million. It is no longer necessary to dispose of any combustible waste in landfills. Incinerators have undergone vast improvements in recent years and burning municipal waste now produces only minimal amounts of air pollution in Switzerland.

3.2.2 Energy from Waste

Incineration plants are also a source of energy: the 28 Swiss facilities generate enough electricity for 250,000 homes. This in turn means that 215,000 less oil derivatives need to be imported for heating purposes. It is not only the incineration of municipal waste in Switzerland which produces energy. The cement industry burns suitable waste such as used oils and solvents in order to cover a large amount of its energy needs.

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The recycling rate for municipal solid waste in Switzerland exceeds 40%. In 2009 2801285 tons of waste from households and small businesses was recycled and 2680359 tons of municipal waste was incinerated. In Switzerland the following common household waste materials are recycled: aluminium and tin cans, old batteries, light bulbs, glass, paper, PET bottles, textiles, electrical and electronic equipment, and other. The disposal of recyclable waste is mostly free of charge, though not always operated as door-to-door collection. Some waste must be brought to collection spots (e.g. glass, metal, textiles), some is collected in supermarkets or retail shops (e.g. batteries, pet bottles, and old electrical and electronic equipment).The recycling rates of the individual recyclable materials reached in 2006 a mean of 76% of all currently recyclable items being recycled. This has narrowly surpassed the Swiss government's 75% target, meaning that for the time being there will be no introduction of a recycling tax on glass bottles and jars, clothes and textiles, plastic bottles, home-use batteries, light bulbs or paper ware and card. The Swiss attach a lot of importance to recycling. Ordinary citizens are encouraged to recycle as much as possible. In many cantons householders pay a tax according to the volume of rubbish they put out for the dustmen to collect. This acts as an incentive to dispose of anything recyclable at recycling points for which they do not have to pay. In 2003, 47% of all urban waste was recycled - a new Swiss record. They recycled 70% of paper, 95% of glass, 71% of plastic bottles, 85-90% of aluminum cans and 75% of tin cans. Not only individuals are involved in collecting this rubbish. Companies like the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) play their part too. Every year the SBB collects the following from its trains 2.5 million plastic bottles, weighing 65,000 kg (143,300 lb) - enough for 276,000 T-shirts or filling for 39,500 sleeping bags million aluminum cans, weighing 29,000 kg (63,930 lb) - recycling them saves 116 tons of bauxite and takes only a 20th of the energy that it takes to produce them from scratch Nearly 1 million glass bottles, weighing 190 tons, which are re-melted 3,608 tons of newspapers and magazines, which works out at 50 kg (110 lb) per carriage per year.5

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Waste Management quick facts:

Since 1990 the waste mountain has grown by 33%. This increase is a consequence of population and economic growth. In the year 2009 around 19.4 million tons of wastes were accumulated in total.

Construction activities generated the most waste in 2009 with around 12 million tons, of which about 10 million tons were recovered. Municipal solid waste: in the year 2009 every Swiss person produced around 700kg of waste. Hazardous waste, industrial and commercial waste and sewage sludge are also constantly increasing.

The quantity of municipal solid waste generated in 2009 was 700 kg per person, 100 kg more than in the year 1990. However, more than half of municipal solid wastes has collected separately and recovered. The quantity of incinerated waste generated in Switzerland has largely stabilized in recent years and in 2009 was around 3.3 million tons. The recycling rate has doubled over the past 20 years. Today, more than half of all municipal solid wastes are already collected and managed separately.6

Waste management in Switzerland is based on five principles, as follows:

The production of waste must be reduced as far as possible The waste must be recycled as far as possible All combustible waste that is not recycled must be incinerated Polluter-pays (no financing through tax revenues) The recycling system must be efficient 7

The types of waste management in Switzerland which have been focused on in this report include household waste management, industrial waste management and medical waste management.

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In 2007, some 5.5 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were generated, which equates to approx. 720 kg per inhabitant. The percentage of all MSW collected separately was 51 % or 2.8 million tons. In 1989, the peak year to date for MSW incineration, the figure was only 27 %. Since then, the volume of segregated MSW has more than doubled from 160 to 370 kg per person per year. Thanks to this increase, the level of MSW incineration has remained relatively stable in recent years despite population growth, averaging 2.6 million tons per annum. The per capita volume of refuse for disposal fell from 440 to 350 kg per year. Financing waste disposal on the polluter-pays principle (e.g. Switzerlands refuse-bag levy) has contributed to progress in this area. The success of separate collections is also reflected in the composition of the household waste left for regular refuse collection. Changing consumption patterns are making a significant difference. Goods made of natural products such as wood, leather or metal are being replaced by composite products which cannot be separated and the majority of which contain plastic. Biogenic waste from the kitchen or garden as well as food left over accounts for 27 % of incinerated waste, the largest category by weight. Paper and card come next, accounting for 20 %, while composite products and composite packaging weigh in at 18 % and plastics at 15 %.8 Household Rubbish Disposal: In many places in Switzerland, household rubbish disposal and collection is charged for. Household refuse (except dangerous and cumbersome items, batteries, sofas, electrical appliances etc.) in theory, is only to be collected if it is in bags which either have a payment sticker attached, or in official bags with the surcharge paid when the bags are purchased. However in practice, this is difficult to enforce, for hygiene reasons and alike. However, it is a financial incentive to recycle as much as possible, for recycling is usually free of charge or cheaper, albeit not always operated through a door-to-door collection. Swiss health officials and police often open up garbage for which the disposal charge has not been paid. They search for evidence such as old bills which connect the bag to the household/person they originated from. Fines for not paying the disposal fee can now be up to CHF 10,000 in some municipalities. Again, many people are now aware of this and remove their names and details from any documentation disposed of illegally before trashing it, therefore rendering it impossible and futile for health officials to identify where the rubbish is coming from. In fact in some areas the cost of the payment stickers or official rubbish sacks has fallen slightly. However, where this has occurred, an annual taxation on refuse collection has been introduced or reintroduced as it were.
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In some extraordinary cases, a handful of municipalities have introduced refuse weighing machines and electronic chip-cards which need to be 'topped up' with money, thus enforcing payment for refuse elimination by weight and not volume. This caused problems for elderly residents who would have to somehow get to the nearest refuse disposal point, possibly having to walk uphill or a significant distance. All such methods are proving unpopular Switzerland-wide, especially, as said, amongst the ageing Swiss nationals who often find it difficult to come to grips with the ever-imposing technological era in this extremely rich and modern country. Dumping refuse and household waste inappropriately and/or illegally also incurs a heavy fine.9 Household materials that are recycled include:

Aluminium packaging from households: Collecting and recycling

aluminium packaging from households is important for environmental and especially energy reasons. The use of secondary aluminum instead of primary aluminium saves 95% of the energy needed to manufacture aluminium from raw materials and amounts to a reduction of 9 kg of CO2 equivalents per kilo of recycled aluminium. The recycling rate for aluminium cans is 91%, whereas for pet food containers, it is 80%, and for aluminium tubes, 60%.

Furniture: Items of furniture that are no longer needed or wanted are

disposed of through the communal bulky waste collections. When new furniture is bought, shops often agree to take back the old items that are being replaced for a disposal charge of about CHF 80. Second-hand businesses such as swap centers or junk shops accept useable furniture free of charge. These undergo incineration in a municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) or processing in a chipboard factory.

Glass packaging materials: The Beverage Container Ordinance

(BCO) requires 75% of glass, PET and aluminum containers to be recycled.

Metals: Separate collection and recycling of scrap metals from the

household and commercial sectors makes sound environmental sense. Recycling must, however, take place in suitable plants. Every year, around 60,000 tons of waste metals are collected separately from Swiss households via the municipal collection points. This is equivalent to about 9 kg of waste metal per capita. Most communes already have at least one scrap-metal collection point. Scrap metals can be dumped unsorted, since the scrap dealers can easily separate ferrous metals from non-ferrous ones by virtue of their magnetic properties. Some
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communes also collect bigger pieces of scrap metal. Drop-off schemes are becoming the rule for reasons of cost.

Paper and cardboard: Used paper is either collected separately

(especially when it is destined for paper factories) or in conjunction with the cardboard (when destined for cardboard factories), according to the preference of the recycling company concerned. Substantial amounts are exported and, conversely, any grades of used paper/cardboard that cannot be sourced domestically are imported. The recycled material content of different types of paper and cardboard varies markedly from product to product. Refuse collection and disposal have been financed by municipalities through taxes and fees that are volume-unrelated; a practice that does not comply with the polluter pays principle'.

PET Beverage containers: Recent life-cycle analyses show that

disposable PET beverage containers with high rates of return for recycling are not significantly more harmful to the environment than refillable glass bottles disposed of with household waste in municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWI). Since PET contains virtually no toxins and, apart from carbon dioxide and water, no significant amounts of substances with an environmental impact are released upon incineration, little pollution is caused when PET bottles are disposed of in a MSWI.

CDs: Although Switzerland does not have a separate, nationwide

take-back system for CD recycling, the CDs can be returned at most of the computer shops or collecting points of SWICO.

Electrical and Electronic appliances: Consumers, for their part, are

obliged to return end-of-life appliances and are not allowed to dispose of them via household waste or bulky item collections. For example: Fluorescent lamps: Since 1 August 2005, it has been possible for fluorescent lamps to be returned free of charge to any retail outlet, or to official S.EN.S collection points. Retailers, manufacturers and importers are required to take back, at no charge, appliances of the kind that they normally stock. Refrigerators: The CFCs are recovered with practically no losses and the appliances are shredded. Afterwards the metal is separated from foreign matter. The recovered CFCs are destroyed in special-waste incinerators.

Biowaste: In 2000, most of the 641400 tons of biowaste collected

were treated by the 107 large plants with capacities over 1 000 tons per year. Nearly 62% were composted in open-air windrows.16% of the waste was treated in closed or covered plants, 10% by field-edge
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composting. Some 78600 tons (12%) were anaerobically digested in the 13 existing plants.

An estimated 300000 tons of biowaste is treated by home or

community composting or in plants with a capacity below 100 tons per year.

Sewage sludge: Each year, about 4 million tons of liquid sewage

sludge with a dry mass (DM) content of some 200,000 tons arises in Switzerland's municipal sewage treatment facilities. Because of the termination of recycling in agriculture, the sewage sludge has to be incinerated or treated thermally in appropriate plants using an environmentally friendly method.

Textiles and shoes: Each person living in Switzerland uses approx.

18 kg of textiles annually, 10 kg of which are clothes. Approximately 45,000 tons of used clothing and shoes (7 kg/person) that are disposed of as household waste are collected annually and brought to the various recycling channels. Approximately 55% of the collected used clothing is still wearable clothing, which is sorted and mostly sold abroad. The rest 15% are cut up into cleaning rags; another 15% are transformed into rag fibre; 5% are made into roofing felt for use as insulating material and10% is refuse.

Used tyres: Garages and local vehicle dismantlers channel used tyres
into the various recycling and processing chains via used tyre dealers.


The polluter pays principle requires that those responsible for commercial and industrial waste should bear the costs linked to their disposal. The types of industrial wastes are outlined below:

4.2. 1 Hazardous waste

The principle industrial waste in Switzerland comprises of hazardous waste. Industry in particular has improved its management of hazardous waste by taking measures to prevent it and to recycle unavoidable waste more efficiently. Recycling of hazardous waste The recycling of hazardous waste is being promoted by the implementation of the Ordinance on Movements of Waste and Technical Ordinance on Waste, the development of new treatment methods and rising raw material prices.
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Cement plants In 2008, there were 6 cement plants operating in Switzerland, producing close to 4.2 million tons of cement. The production of 1 ton of clinker requires about 135 kg of coal or 86 kg of heavy oil. Guidelines on disposal of wastes in cement plants were developed in close collaboration with the industry and the cantonal authorities. These guidelines prohibit the incineration in cement plants of municipal waste and problematic special wastes (e.g. chlorinated solvents or paint residues with high heavy metal content). However, bulk wastes with a low pollution potential and high calorific value - such as used oil, sewage sludge, animal flour/animal fat, lowchlorinated solvents, plastics, used tyres etc. - may be used as alternative fuels. In 2008, the cement plants consumed a total of approximately 270000 tons of combustible waste and 250000 tons of alternative raw materials. Waste disposal facilities Requirements for disposal facilities are specified in the Technical Ordinance on Waste (TVA3). It specifies stringent requirements for waste that is to be landfilled. Today, three different types of landfill site exist in Switzerland, corresponding to different types of waste: landfills for inert materials, landfills for stabilized residues and bioreactor landfills. Exports of hazardous waste About 14 % of all hazardous waste is exported for recycling, treatment or landfilling, with around 63 % of this total being disposed of in Germany, and the rest almost exclusively in other EU countries Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria. The federal authorities permit exports of hazardous waste mainly for recycling. Special arrangements are applicable for the disposal of filter cake from municipal waste incinerators in German underground landfills, and non-metallic shredder residue in incinerators abroad.

4.2.2 Packaging Waste

According to the Beverage Containers Ordinance (2000), there is a 75% minimum recycling target for glass, PET and aluminium and the organization of a marking, deposit or taxation system, depending on the material concerned. Manufacturers, importers, exporters and dealers must inform the FOEN by the end of February of each year in line with its requirements on the volume of beverages produced and imported (Art. 18) and the weight of beverage containers returned or recycled. This also applies to companies that export beverage containers for recycling.
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4.2.3 Excavated Waste

"Excavated material" refers to waste consisting mainly of rock and earth excavated during construction of infrastructure (tunnels, culverts etc.) and is an example of industrial waste. Excavated material may be polluted, particularly if it is derived from excavations on industrial or old landfill sites. Excavated material represents the largest waste stream in Switzerland. If unpolluted, the great majority of this material is used for rehabilitation of gravel pits and other extraction sites, to reinstate the original geomorphology. A small proportion - again unpolluted - is recycled as gravel and reused on the actual construction site (e.g. to backfill excavations) or for landscaping features such as noise-abatement embankments, dikes and undulating parkland. The rest goes to landfill.10


Health Care Waste (HCW) is a by-product of health care that includes e.g. sharps, non sharps, blood, body parts and fluids, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and radioactive materials. Poor management of HCW exposes health-care workers, waste handlers and the community to infections, toxic effects and injuries. The risk to the community includes intentional and unintentional exposure in the absence of a safe waste management system. Intentional exposure occurs through the widespread reuse of disposable materials (especially syringes) in each country and results in the main disease burden caused by inadequate health-care waste management. Unintentional injuries may occur when the community is exposed to inadequately disposed waste, e.g. through scavenging on waste sites. Most of the countries have their own laws and regulations on waste management and disposal, also on the specific waste stream of health care waste. But a lot of them do not have practical guidelines and tools to translate them into action. 4.3.1 The situation in Switzerland In Switzerland people have a high awareness that healthcare services create waste which may be hazardous to health and the environment and that HCW is a specific waste stream with a very high potential for infections and injury. Therefore we want to have a verified and hygienic collection and disposal of all medical wastes, which is save for the workers in-house, off-site and also save for the environment. So its very important to have reliable Page xix of 36

systems for handling healthcare waste, attended by continuous training and education. Since 10-15 years many hospitals have their own and specific waste management plans and conceptions. And as a specialty of Switzerland we had neither standardized handling guidelines nor disposal technologies for healthcare waste that means 26 cantons = 26 solutions. 4.3.2 Today and for the future the new guideline Since the beginning of 2005 Switzerland has its own national regulation on the management of health care waste (handling and disposal) with very detailed and practical information. standardized definitions of all medical waste groups a standardized classification system basic requirements for a save handling in-house and off-site requirements for packaging, labeling and transport basic requirements for waste disposal (technology) The guideline will help the cantonal authorities to carry out national law and to give them more practical information. But also all the actors and institutions in the public health sector need a kind of a practical handbook to fulfill all the requirements for a save and an environmental friendly waste management.11




Nearly all waste can be recycled or thermally processed. As part of these processes, waste is not simply dumped or detoxified, but actually made useful again. By successfully transforming products back into raw materials, we conserve our natural resources. In the recycling process, products (e.g. packaging, electrical and electronic devices and artificial structures) that are at the end of their service life are broken down, sorted and processed so that a large portion of the resulting raw materials can be reused to produce new products. Before recyclable waste (e.g. glass, aluminium cans, batteries, waste paper, etc.) is brought to specialized recycling facilities, it must first be collected separately. Thanks to various waste-related financing systems, laws and campaigns in Switzerland, 50% of its solid waste is recycled. Even waste from industry and commerce is recycled through appropriate processes, and the raw materials recovered from these processes are subsequently reintroduced in the production cycle.
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BATTERY RECYCLING Because of their heavy metal content, used batteries and defective accumulators should not be disposed of as rubbish. They will be taken back by retailers for recycling by Batrec AG in Wimmis (Canton Bern). In Switzerland, a prepaid disposal charge (VEG) is levied on batteries and accumulators. The running of the VEG system was outsourced by Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) to INOBAT, a battery disposal interest group (German, French, Italian), which uses the revenues to finance the collection, transport and recycling of spent batteries. This organization brings together around 100 importers and trading companies. GLASS RECYCLING About one-third of the glass collected in Switzerland is used as a gravel substitute in the construction sector. All the rest is reprocessed and used by the glass industry as a raw material in the production of new glass containers. PAPER RECYCLING Paper accounts for more than half of all the domestic waste collected for recycling. On a per capita basis, the Swiss collect 160 kg of waste paper each year. PET RECYCLING The Beverage Container Ordinance (BCO) requires 75% of glass, PET and aluminum containers to be recycled. Therefore, most PET beverage bottles consumed and collected in Switzerland are also sorted and recycled domestically CAN RECYCLING The recycling of tin (tinplate) cans has been shown to be worthwhile. The reprocessing of scrap cans makes it possible for high-grade steel to be recovered. In order to promote these activities, an association known as FERRO Recycling was established by Switzerlands leading cans manufacturers, traders and disposal companies. TEXTILE RECYCLING The reuse of textiles reduces pressure on the natural resources that are required to produce new materials and clothing. The annual amount collected in Switzerland is constantly increasing and now stands at around 35,000 tons. The recycling rate for textiles is about 50%.

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Plastics consumption is increasing and more and more plastic waste is therefore being produced. The authorities are working with plastics manufacturers and recyclers as well as with retailers to test which other disposal options are environmentally friendly and low-priced. Not all plastics waste can be recycled in a meaningful way. According to the latest study by the FOEN (2003), plastics form around 15% of household refuse. This proportion is increasing because on the one hand more plastics are being consumed and, on the other hand, more and more recyclable materials such as paper, glass, aluminium, PET beverage containers, green waste etc. are being collected separately and thus are disappearing from the refuse bag. Consumption figures In 2010 approximately 1,000,000 tons or 125 kg of plastics were consumed per head in Switzerland. Around a third of this was plastic packaging material and about a quarter is plastic from the construction industry. The most important types of plastic are

PE Polyethylene (26%), PP Polypropylene (16%) PVC Polyvinylchloride (15%).

COLLECTION AND RECYCLING At present approximately 90,000 of the annually occurring 780,000 tons of plastic waste are recycled. Around 250,000 tons remain in use as products (intermediate storage).The existing collection systems (PET bottles, aluminium, tinplate etc.) in Switzerland are arranged so that it is possible to recycle without sorting or so that only extraneous material is separated out. On the one hand this makes low-cost recycling possible, but it means the consumer must be able to separate waste into categories. There is a distinction between plastic waste from households and plastic waste from industry and commerce. The latter tends to occur in greater quantities, is usually divided into categories and is often clean, which means that is often better suited for recycling (e.g. plastic wrappings).Currently only PET bottles are collected separately from all households. This waste can be used to manufacture beverage containers or even textiles. Some large-scale distributors offer to collect polyethylene milk bottles on a
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voluntary basis. The material collected is mainly used to manufacture cable conduits and protectors. Recycling plastics is a very time-consuming and expensive procedure, particularly when they have to be sorted and thoroughly cleaned. This is the case when all plastics are collected together and only afterwards sorted, as happens in some neighboring countries. In Switzerland there are some regional attempts to collect mixed plastics from households. The costs of collection, transport and sorting are however very high, in addition there are hardly any outlets for this type of plastic waste at the present time. For this reason the FOEN recommends the communes not to start collecting mixed plastics just yet.12


E-waste (electronics waste) is the fastest growing form of toxic waste in the world. Switzerland has one of the best established e-waste management systems worldwide. It was the first country to establish an electronic waste recycling system which began with refrigerators but now includes all forms of electronic waste. Electrical and electronic appliances (e.g. televisions, computers) contain large quantities of recyclable metals such as copper and iron, as well as heavy metals such as lead, zinc and cadmium. The metals found in municipal solid waste stem, to a great extent, from these appliances. However, high levels of heavy metals complicate the operation of municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs), as well as the treatment and recycling of combustion residues. When appliances are incinerated in MSWIs, reusable metals are largely lost, or can only be recovered at great expense. The separate collection and environmentally sound disposal of end-of-life electrical and electronic appliances reduces inputs of heavy metals into unsorted municipal waste. In addition, during the recycling process, reusable metals such as copper and iron are recovered. Problematic components (mercury switches, PCB capacitors, etc.) are dismantled and disposed of separately. Non-recyclable organic chemical wastes (e.g. mixed plastics) can be appropriately incinerated.

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TAKING BACK AND DISPOSAL Under the Ordinance on the Return, the Taking Back and the Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Appliances (ORDEA), retailers, manufacturers and importers are required to take back, at no charge, appliances of the kind that they normally stock. Consumers, for their part, are obliged to return end-of-life appliances and are not allowed to dispose of them via household waste or bulky item collections. The Ordinance covers electrical and electronic appliances in the following categories:

Consumer electronics, office, IT and telecommunications equipment, refrigeration and air conditioning appliances, household appliances, tools (except large-scale stationary industrial tools), sport and leisure appliances as well as toys, luminaires (lighting fixtures), lamps (without incandescent lamps).

Collection and disposal, financed on a private-sector basis, is managed by the Swiss Foundation for the Waste Management (SENS) and the Swiss Association for Information, Communications and Organization Technology (SWICO). The purchase price of all appliances covered by the ORDEA includes a prepaid disposal charge based on voluntary sectoral agreements. Equipment can thus be returned free of charge.13 LATEST INNOVATION In the last century earthlings have launched innumerable satellites into the atmosphere most of which are still floating around messing with operational equipment circling the Earth. Fortunately, Switzerland just announced plans to launch a satellite in the next three to five years that will clean up all that space junk. Dubbed CleanSpace One, the $11 million satellite will remove unwanted objects from the atmosphere by grabbing a hold of them and jettisoning itself and the object into the Earths atmosphere, where they will both burn up upon re-entry.14

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6.1 FOEN
The Federal Office for the Environment FOEN is the Switzerland federal governments centre of environmental expertise and is part of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication. It is responsible for ensuring that natural resources are used sustainably, that the public is protected against natural hazards, and that the environment is protected from unacceptable adverse impacts.15


The seven Swiss recycling organizations include: FERRO-Recycling (tin cans), IGORA (household aluminium), INOBAT (household batteries), PET-Recycling Switzerland (PET beverage bottles), the SENS Foundation (electrical and electronic equipment), TEXAID (textiles) and VetroSwiss (glass) are united in the umbrella organization Swiss Recycling. This association exploits the communication synergies that exist between the individual recycling organizations by providing a common platform for disseminating information on the separate collection and appropriate recycling of materials. The association's independence and expertise make it a key contact for official bodies, politicians, retailers and schools throughout Switzerland on all issues relating to recycling.16


Switzerland is part of EFTA (the European Free Trade Area) but has opted out of the EEA (European Economic Area), which has the legal consequence that Switzerland has no legal obligation to transpose EU Directives. To that extent, it is not bound by the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. Nevertheless, Switzerland has committed to harmonize its legislation with the EU rules so as not to obstruct the exchange of goods with EU Member States. To that extent, there is no general legislation on packaging but a series of specific prescriptions for each packaging type contained in the Beverage Containers Ordinance (2000).17

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The unit of the Swiss Association for the Information, Communication and Organizational Technologies (ICT) handles mainly waste ICT and consumer electronics (CE) such as personal computers.

Under the Ordinance on the Return, the Taking Back and the Disposal of Electrical and Electronic Appliances; retailers, manufacturers and importers are required to take back, at no charge, appliances of the kind that they normally stock. Other regulatory bodies and ordinances include:

Swiss Metal Recycling Association (VSMR) Swiss Light Recycling Foundation (SLRS) Swiss Association for Environmentally Friendly Drinks Packaging (SVUG) Swiss Association for Household and Industrial Appliances (FEA) VSA (Swiss Water Pollution Control Association) Ferro Recycling Ordinance on Movements of Waste (VeVA) Technical Ordinance on Waste (TVA)

Switzerland now has efficient infrastructure, high standards and clear legislative stipulations in the field of waste management. Nowadays, the treatment of consumer goods once they become waste has less environmental impact than their production and use. However, to continue reducing environmental pollution it must act at the beginning of the production chain and on patterns of consumption. It should pay attention, during the phase of product design, to waste treatment as well as manufacture and use. The protection of non-renewable resources such as metals and gravel is becoming increasingly important.

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Figure 1: Core indicator Wastes from domestic sources1

Figure 2: Core indicator Recycling rate2

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Figure 3: Indicator Municipal solid waste collected separately3

Figure 4: Evolution of Recycling Rates by types of items4

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Figure 5: Indicator Municipal solid waste incinerated per person5

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Source (Figure 1-6): Federal Office for the Environment

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Figure 7: Average Composition of the unsorted MSW from 33 Swiss Communities (2002)

Source: Country Report SWITZERLAND

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Source: Country Report SWITZERLAND

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Table 2: Combustible Waste and MSWI Capacity 1996-2000

Source: Federal Office for the Environment

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1. http://www.wikipedia.com 2. Antonis Mavropoulos. Waste management 2030+. Retrieved from http://www.waste-management-world.com/index/display/article-

3. Vexen Crabtree (2005). Which countries set the best examples? Retrieved from http://www.vexen.co.uk/countries/best.html

Recycling around the world. (2005). BBC NEWS. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4620041.stm
4. Waste Management. National Reporting to CSD 18/19. The Swiss

Confederation. Switzerland.
5. FOEN. Incineration. Retrieved from

http://www.swissworld.org/en/environment/waste_management/incine ration/ 6. FOEN (2011). Status Report on Waste Management. Retrieved from http://www.bafu.admin.ch/umwelt/status/03964/index.html?lang=en
7. Wien. (2005) Waste management in Switzerland: Auditing prepaid

recycling fees, EUROSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing.

8. Waste Management. National Reporting to CSD 18/19.The Swiss

Confederation. Switzerland
9. http://www.wikipedia.com

10. FOEN. (2009) Excavated Material. Retrieved from http://www.bafu.admin.ch/abfall/01472/06745/index.html?lang=en 11. Schelker, R., Mari, R.L. A CD-Handbook for Health Care Waste Management in Switzerland. 12. FOEN. (2012) Plastics. Retrieved from http://www.bafu.admin.ch/abfall/01472/01483/index.html?lang=en 13. FOEN. (2009) Electrical and electronic appliances. Retrieved from http://www.bafu.admin.ch/abfall/01472/01478/index.html?lang=en 14. Liggett, B. (2012) Switzerland to launch self destructing janitor satellite to clean up space junk. Inhabit. Retrieved from http://inhabitat.com/switzerland-to-launch-self-destructing-janitorsatellite-to-clean-up-space-junk/ 15. The FOEN. Retrieved from http://www.bafu.admin.ch/org/index.html? lang=en 16. http://www.wikipedia.com 17. Packaging waste legislation in Switzerland. ProEurope. Retrieved from http://pro-e.org/Switzerland.html

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