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15.11.2016

The analysis of municipal waste provides new findings for waste management

A pile of waste

An analysis carried out as part of the NRP 70 project "Waste management to support the energy turnaround" provides new insights into the recycling of materials.

‚ÄčAs part of the NRP 70 project "Waste management as contribution to the energy turnaround" (wastEturn) researchers at ETH Zurich, in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of the Environment (FOEN), various industrial partners and recycling associations, have performed an analysis of municipal waste in Switzerland. The study shows the flows of materials in Swiss waste management, and serves as a basis to determine the collection and recycling rates for the various fractions in greater detail. Moreover, a distinction was made between recycling materials in closed cycles and in open cycles. This clearly shows that while reclamation rates and collection rates provide an indication of the collection activities of the populace, they do not provide any adequate indicators concerning the secondary raw materials produced from waste and made available for further products. The authors of the study therefore conclude that the efficiency of resources and the contribution to the circular economy should only be based on actual recycling rates.

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