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Become a recycling champion!

It only takes a few seconds’ thought to improve waste sorting and repurposing.

Poster for the recycling campaign
(Image: CERN)

What should you do with your used coffee capsules, your spent batteries or your broken chair? Any idea? If you don’t already know, you can find the answers on the posters and screens in the restaurants and cafeterias. The winners of the quiz will be revealed next week.

Most materials can be repurposed, providing that they’ve been correctly sorted. In 2018, CERN produced no fewer than 5300 tonnes of waste, more than 55% of which was recycled. CERN’s waste is sent to sorting plants in Switzerland and France, where it goes through a second, more thorough, sorting process. Each different type of waste is then sent to the appropriate recycling facility. Paper and cardboard are recycled into new paper; used wood can, for example, be recycled into chipboard; scrap metal goes to steelworks; and certain types of polystyrene can be recycled into insulation panels.

We can all help improve waste repurposing by sorting better at source. So, take a few seconds to think. Numerous waste containers, skips and bins for recyclable materials are available on the CERN sites.

For example:

  • Every office has a paper/cardboard recycling box.
  • Recycling bins for PET items, aluminium cans and Nespresso capsules are available all across CERN. Several bins for these kinds of waste have also been installed near Building 156 (Meyrin site) and Building 904 (Prévessin site).
  • Bottle banks are available all across the Meyrin and Prévessin sites. In the restaurants, glass bottles are sorted in the kitchens, so they should be left on your tray.
  • For bulkier items, skips ranging from 4 to 40 m3 are available.

All information relating to waste management can be found on the SMB department’s website.
Take a moment to fill in the survey on waste sorting and recycling.

Last but not least, think of recycling as the final step. To decrease our environmental impact, we first need to reduce, then reuse, if possible, and, last of all, recycle.