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Sustainable waste separation

The UvA aims to become a pioneer in the field of sustainability. A circular approach to waste will help us to achieve this. The goal is to reduce waste production and to process waste as sustainably as possible.

At the UvA, we want to start separating waste in a different and more sustainable way. From September to December 2020, we will be testing the best approach to waste separation on campus.

Circularity

Reusing raw materials (circularity) is an important starting point. We want to cooperate with partners who can turn waste into raw materials for new products. This works best when the waste that they collect is already sorted.

Importance of sorting

If waste hasn’t been sorted properly, the waste processor may decide not to accept it. The waste could then end up being incinerated. Not only is this the least sustainable way of processing waste, but it also means it can’t be turned into raw materials for new products.

Testing waste separation at the UvA

The UvA is currently examining what works best in terms of waste separation and disposal. We’re doing this in collaboration with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences so that a new waste collection method can be introduced at both institutions in the summer of 2021.

Different methods

We’ll be testing different methods of separating waste at various locations.

Method 1

This pilot will start at Amsterdam Science Park in September 2020.

  • The bins currently used (for mixed waste) will be removed.
  • Separate waste containers will be provided for organic waste and food waste, coffee cups, paper, plastic packaging and drinks cartons and residual waste. Need help? Find out what goes where in the attached document.
  • The collected waste will be processed into raw materials and/or new products.

Good to know: Because of the coating used in paper receipts, they can’t go in the paper container but should be disposed of as residual waste. Paper tissues can go in the organic waste.

Method 2

The pilot will start at an AUAS location in September 2020.

  • Waste containers will be provided for so-called ‘wet waste’ and ‘dry waste’. Wet waste consists mainly of waste that you can eat and drink or has been in contact with food or drink. Dry waste is everything else.
  • Coffee cups will be collected separately and a paper waste container will be placed next to each printer.
  • In this method of waste separation, the waste processing company sorts the wet and dry waste into different streams that can be recycled into raw materials and new products.

Method 3

The pilot will start at an AUAS location in September 2020.

  • Waste containers will be provided for organic waste and food waste, ‘I don't know’ and dry waste. Dry waste includes anything that isn’t moist. Not sure what should go where? If so, pop it in the ‘I don't know’ bin.
  • Waste containers for paper will also be placed near the printers.
  • In this method of waste separation, the waste processing company sorts the wet and dry waste into different streams that can be recycled into raw materials and new products.