Indicators waste

Waste incineration

The more that is consumed, the greater the amount of waste there is to be burned or recycled. The energy consumption and pollutant emissions that are linked to waste incineration have been considerably reduced as a result of high standards of disposal and technical measures. The combustion heat is also used for energy production. There remains a problem with the large-scale consumption of resources which is linked to a high quantity of waste.

Assessment of the state
medium medium
Assessment of the trend
unsatisfactory unsatisfactory
Industrial and special waste 2017: 0.19 Sludge 2017: 0.03 Construction waste 2017: 0.48 Household waste 2017: 2.85 Industrial and special waste 2016: 0.17 Sludge 2016: 0.03 Construction waste 2016: 0.48 Household waste 2016: 2.88 Industrial and special waste 2015: 0.16 Sludge 2015: 0.04 Construction waste 2015: 0.46 Household waste 2015: 2.85 Industrial and special waste 2014: 0.15 Sludge 2014: 0.04 Construction waste 2014: 0.43 Household waste 2014: 2.79 Industrial and special waste 2013: 0.15 Sludge 2013: 0.04 Construction waste 2013: 0.43 Household waste 2013: 2.8 Industrial and special waste 2012: 0.15 Sludge 2012: 0.05 Construction waste 2012: 0.42 Household waste 2012: 2.79 Industrial and special waste 2011: 0.15 Sludge 2011: 0.05 Construction waste 2011: 0.39 Household waste 2011: 2.73 Industrial and special waste 2010: 0.14 Sludge 2010: 0.06 Construction waste 2010: 0.39 Household waste 2010: 2.76 Industrial and special waste 2009: 0.12 Sludge 2009: 0.05 Construction waste 2009: 0.38 Household waste 2009: 2.66 Industrial and special waste 2008: 0.11 Sludge 2008: 0.03 Construction waste 2008: 0.41 Household waste 2008: 2.83 Industrial and special waste 2007: 0.13 Sludge 2007: 0.03 Construction waste 2007: 0.4 Household waste 2007: 2.68 Industrial and special waste 2006: 0.13 Sludge 2006: 0.03 Construction waste 2006: 0.37 Household waste 2006: 2.65 Industrial and special waste 2005: 0.12 Sludge 2005: 0.04 Construction waste 2005: 0.44 Household waste 2005: 2.44 Industrial and special waste 2004: 0.12 Sludge 2004: 0.04 Construction waste 2004: 0.39 Household waste 2004: 2.51 Industrial and special waste 2003: 0.1 Sludge 2003: 0.04 Construction waste 2003: 0.33 Household waste 2003: 2.52 Industrial and special waste 2002: 0.1 Sludge 2002: 0.04 Construction waste 2002: 0.34 Household waste 2002: 2.55 Industrial and special waste 2001: 0.11 Sludge 2001: 0.04 Construction waste 2001: 0.34 Household waste 2001: 2.27 Industrial and special waste 2000: 0.11 Sludge 2000: 0.04 Construction waste 2000: 0.35 Household waste 2000: 2.3 Industrial and special waste 1999: 0.14 Sludge 1999: 0.04 Construction waste 1999: 0.28 Household waste 1999: 2.13 Industrial and special waste 1998: 0.13 Sludge 1998: 0.04 Construction waste 1998: 0.26 Household waste 1998: 1.99 Industrial and special waste 1997: 0.09 Sludge 1997: 0.03 Construction waste 1997: 0.23 Household waste 1997: 1.99 Industrial and special waste 1996: 0.06 Sludge 1996: 0.03 Construction waste 1996: 0.21 Household waste 1996: 1.99
* Since 2004 without imported wastes

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN
Comment

The amount of incinerated waste produced in Switzerland has stabilized in recent years and in 2017 stood at approximately 3.55 million tonnes. By far the largest part of this, 80%, is household waste. This is waste that comes from individual households as well as other waste that is comparable in content and is produced in industrial or commercial settings. The remainder consists of construction waste, certain types of special waste and sludge. One positive factor is that nowadays almost all combustible and non-recyclable waste is actually incinerated in municipal solid waste incinerators and there is no more illegal incineration or landfilling. The relatively high amount of waste is not an important problem in relation to disposal. Pollutant emissions are minimal and all 30 Swiss municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWI) use the combustion heat for electricity production or to supply directly district heating networks and industrial plants (see also Indicator «Energy efficiency of municipal solid waste incinerators»). Also, efforts are currently being made to recover metals from the incineration residues, which would greatly improve the environmental impact of the incinerators. The amount of waste does, however, show that the consumption of resources in Switzerland remains high. For this reason, the status is evaluated as unsatisfactory.

International comparison

A direct comparison is not always possible because types of waste can be classified in different ways (e.g. replacement fuels in coal-fired power stations). Generally speaking, Switzerland, with its high standard of living, generates a relatively large amount of waste which is due to the high standard of living but is made visible through the complete and detailed recording of all types of waste.

Method

The quantities of waste (minus imports) delivered to the MSWIs are recorded, so that all inland combustible waste is accounted for. This includes household waste and waste from construction sites, special waste that is licensed to be incinerated in MSWIs and sludge. Only in exceptional cases and only in very small quantities may combustible waste be deposited in a landfill. The special waste burned in special facilities is not included under this indicator.

 
Last updated on: 20.11.2018

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