Over the past decades, the amount of waste per capita has multiplied worldwide because of economic growth, increased consumption, and the use of more and more packaging materials.
Even in our region, every citizen still produces several times their own body weight in waste annually.
This is why waste prevention is listed first above waste processing in the European Waste Directive, where waste prevention education begins as early as preschool. The Upper Rhine Valley has long taken this approach and implemented various waste education programs. The handling of unavoidable waste can also be improved in many ways, as waste can be both a source of energy and raw material.
Together with Austria, Germany is Europe’s leader in recycling; Freiburg, for example, has been setting new standards for years now with its record-breaking recycling rate of almost 70%. In 2000, Switzerland already stopped the dumping of household waste into landfills, and the waste heat from the incineration plant in Basel supplies more than 20,000 residents. Meanwhile, the Alsace region is regarded as France’s “star student”, where decreased waste production is rewarded with lower taxes.