In 2016, CERN recycled 543 tonnes of wood, 294 tonnes of paper and cardboard, 5.4 tonnes of PET and many other things as well. Almost everything we throw away is sorted at a dedicated plant, with anything that’s not recyclable in one way or another being incinerated at the Cheneviers plant near Aire-la-Ville to generate energy.
Similarly, what remains on our trays after we’ve eaten in the CERN restaurants is sorted by the restaurant staff to ensure that everything is in its rightful place to be recycled or composted. Less visible to many of us is the waste sorting that is now routine at worksites around the Laboratory.
All in all, around 50% of the waste produced by CERN is recycled. That’s not bad, but we could do better, and that’s why our waste contractor, Transvoirie, is running a recycling awareness campaign.
Every day this week in the Main Building, you can find out what happens to what you throw away, what you could be doing to make life easier for those who sort our waste, and how over three quarters of what goes in your bin is recyclable. Do take time to drop by, and if you’d like to know more about recycling at CERN, all the information you need is available here: http://smb-dep.web.cern.ch/en/Waste/Introduction.