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Nearly all waste can be recycled or thermally processed. As part of these proc-esses, waste is not simply dumped or detoxified, but actually made useful again. By successfully transforming products back into raw materials, we con-serve our natural resources.
In thermal processing, waste is incinerated so that its energy content can be harnessed. The thermal energy gained from the process is then used to produce a product (e.g. cement), converted into electricity or fed directly into a heat grid (district heat). In Switzerland, this is primarily done at cement works and municipal solid waste incineration facilities.
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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