Switzerland commits to improve the efficiency of waste treatment plants. It will achieve this through the improvements in the energy efficiency of municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWI). This improvement has already been prescribed by a minimal energy efficiency factor in the recently revised ordinance on waste. Recovered thermal energy can be used directly for district heating networks or for the production of electricity. Additionally, Switzerland will improve the recovery of rare metals from these plants. Residues of the waste incineration as bottom ash or fly ash still contain a considerable amount of various metals. Whereas the recovery of scrap iron is realised in every incineration plant in Switzerland, the recovery of non-iron metals such as aluminium, copper and brass requires new technologies that are now being implemented. The new ordinance of waste contains regulations on the extraction and recycling of metals from incineration residues.
The commitment falls under focus area 2 of the Batumi Initiative to promote the internalisation of negative externalities and the sustainable use of natural capital.
Implementing partners will include Swiss Waste Treatment Plant Operators Association, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, and private industry partners.
This commitment is relevant to SDG targets 6.2, 7.1, 7.8.