Levying the OCRCS charge

The OCRCS Contamination Fund is funded by charges on the deposit of waste in landfills. These funds are ring-fenced for this purpose and are paid to the cantons.

Up to 4,000 contaminated sites need to be remediated in Switzerland in the next 20 years. The total cost related to the investigation, monitoring and remediation of these contaminated sites is estimated to be of 5 billion francs. The parties originally responsible for the pollution being often no longer present or insolvent, the local community must often bear the cost of remediation. In such cases as well as in the case of residential waste disposal sites and shooting ranges the Federal Government supports 40% or 30% of the remediation costs.

On 1st January 2001 the Federal Government enacted the Ordinance on the Charge for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites (OCRCS) with the aim of financing these contributions to remediation costs. This stipulates that the required funds are to be raised through a charge on the deposit of waste in landfills at home or abroad; this ensures that the Government's budget is not affected. The charges fixed in the OCRCS for waste deposited in a landfill yield a yearly income of approximately 40 million francs. These funds are ring-fenced for this particular purpose and are paid to the cantons. The most important objective is to remediate the dangerously contaminated sites as quickly as possible and not to pass them on to future generations because of a lack of funds.

Level of charges from 1.1.2016

The charges for waste deposited in domestic landfills are as follows:

  • for landfills of type B: 5 Fr/t;
  • for landfills of type C, D and E: 16 Fr/t.

The charges for waste deposited in landfills abroad are as follows:

  • for underground landfills: 22 Fr/t;
  • for other landfills: as much as would be charged for deposit in domestic landfills.

The charge is levied at the time of deposit within Switzerland or at the time of export.

OCRCS charge on the deposit of residues from exported waste

An obligation to pay a charge on the deposit in landfills of residues from the waste exported for treatment and recycling (Art. 2 Para. 2 OCRCS) came into force on 1.1.2010. A minimum threshold is fixed, i.e. an OCRCS charge is only levied when more than 15% of the quantity of exported waste is finally deposited in landfill as treatment residues. The Federal Government has thus created equal conditions for exporters and for those disposing of waste domestically and has removed the inequality before the law by which only those disposing of waste domestically had to pay an OCRCS charge on depositing residues in landfill.

Further information

Last modification 13.05.2020

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