Too much recoverable material is still being discarded as residual waste in Switzerland. Around 20 per cent of Swiss "black bag" municipal waste consists of material that could be recovered, concludes the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in a recently published study on the composition of waste in 2012. The waste survey is carried out once every ten years.
FOEN believes that the need for action is greatest in the handling of organic wastes, which, at 543,000 tonnes, made up around a third of the 1.645 million tonnes of waste collected from households. Realistically, around 217,000 tonnes of that biodegradable waste could be recovered, according to FOEN.
There is also still untapped potential in the recycling of paper and board as well as of glass and waste textiles. To reduce the amount of recyclable waste in residual waste, FOEN also advocates to introduce stronger incentives within the local authorities’ waste fee structures in addition to improving and further expanding source-separated collection of recyclable materials.