From this week onwards, you will need to separate plastic, metal and drinks cartons (PMD) in the separate waste collection facilities in the various buildings on the Utrecht Science Park and ICU grounds. The information on the waste bins will be updated this week. On the new rings and stickers you will see that you can throw PMD in the bin. Many municipalities have been collecting PMD for some time now. As a result of a change in legislation, other organisations can now also do this.
Which waste streams do we separate?
Separate waste collection facilities include separate bins for clean and dry paper, cups, organic waste (vegetable, fruit and garden waste), general waste and now also for PMD. Stickers with pictograms on the waste collection bins tell you what goes where. For example, sandwich packaging goes into the general waste and empty cups into the special container for cups. In the PMD bin, you will put your plastic waste, soft drinks cans, drinks cartons, caps, lids, crown caps, aluminium trays and containers.
Several buildings have separate waste collection facilities. From now on, you will be putting your PMD waste in the designated compartment. For the time being, nothing will change in buildings that do not currently have separate waste collection facilities.
What happens with the PMD waste? Turn your trash into treasure!
Cleaners empty the waste bins containing the various waste streams on a daily basis. Each waste stream has its own colour and container. The cleaners make sure that the right bag is put in the right container and that the different waste streams are disposed of separately.
The PMD waste goes to waste processing companies. They sort the waste into three different streams: plastic, metal and drinks cartons. They then process the waste and ensure that it is made into another product.
- Plastic waste is processed into granules. These can be used as raw material for packaging, but also for pallets or garden furniture.
- Metal waste (mainly soft drinks cans and aluminium) is processed into metal raw material. This is used for the production of a variety of materials, ranging from new metal packaging to new bicycles.
- Drinks cartons are recycled into new paper and cardboard applications, such as tissue products, cardboard boxes and paper bags.
Facts and figures
- 1 PET bottle = 1 new PET bottles
- 2900 PET bottles = 1000 kg PMD
- 1000 kg PMD = 1 garden bench
- 1000 kg PMD = 1468 kg CO2 - saving as compared to incineration
(Source: Renewi, Het waardevol boekje, 2018)
Why do we separate waste?
Separate waste collection ties in perfectly with the university's sustainability ambitions to be CO2 neutral by 2030. Utrecht University aims to reduce the amount of residual waste it produces to 0% by 2030. It will help us to achieve our aim if cans and drinks cartons are not put into the residual waste but are permitted in PMD. The better we separate waste, the more waste we can reuse and recycle and the less residual waste will need to be incinerated. Better separation means lower CO2 emissions.
Would you like more information about waste?