We have been separating waste in offices and workshops for some time. But there are more opportunities to separate waste, such as at stations and in the train. NS is carrying out a number of trials to determine the feasibility of these forms of waste separation.
Separating waste at the station
Waste at stations consists of various materials, of which a large proportion is paper, packaging (PMD) and organic. Since 2015, several stations have been involved in pilots for 'Waste separation and recycling'. Special instructional stickers on waste bins inform the traveller that waste is being separated at the station. At 2 stations 3 waste categories are being collected, and at 7 stations 2 waste categories are being collected. Our goal is to further expand the waste separation to more stations. The whole process of waste collection and processing has already been prepared and coordinated. From the cleaners, who collect the separated waste, up to and including the waste processor. The waste processor requires a 90% purity in order to effectively recycle the waste, so it is important that waste is put in the correct bin. Here, the motto 'waste is a resource' applies.
Separating waste on the train
Since 2015, our cleaning staff have been collecting newspapers and magazines separately. These are then recycled. Starting with the new timetable for 2017, the first trains with facilities for waste separation will start running in the South-East of the Netherlands. Starting on 1 January 2017, we request that our passengers place newspapers and magazines in the luggage racks once they have finished reading them. This way, multiple passengers will be able to read the same newspaper, which is good for the environment. Moreover, this way the newspapers will remain clean and dry, which makes them easier to recycle.
Separating waste in shops: Swill
Standard practice is to separate two waste flows behind almost all shops: residual waste and paper/cardboard/foil. At 3 stations, a large proportion of the shops are now also separating Swill. Swill is a term used to describe cooked and prepared kitchen waste and leftovers, such as potatoes, bread, drinks, coffee grounds, egg shells, chips, snacks, vegetables, fruit and dairy products. Separating swill makes waste easier and more environmentally friendly to process.
People with problems in the labour market take care of the logistics at Rotterdam station. They retrieve containers from the sales premises and make sure that the containers are taken to waste processing as three separate waste streams. They are also responsible for bringing clean and empty containers back to the sales premises. The swill is used to make bio-gas or green energy, and the remainder is then used for compost.
The separation and reduction of waste at stations, on trains and in retail (shops) are part of the Green Deal agreement between the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and NS. The goal of this agreement is to reduce the waste produced by passengers by 25% and to separate 75% of waste on collection so that it can be recycled by 2020.