WOULD YOU LIKE TO STAY INFORMED ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY AT THE UT?

The university's waste policy is aimed at preventing waste. Where waste does arise, we try to separate it as much as possible and dispose of it properly, safely and responsibly.

At the University of Twente, we are trying to collect more and more waste streams separately. Since the end of 2017, we have been creating waste islands at central locations in our buildings, enabling us to further separate waste in and around offices and teaching rooms. There are 4 waste streams:

  1. Paper
  2. PMB (plastic, metal and beverage containers), with several islands also featuring a separate bin for coffee cups.
  3. Fruit & Vegetable waste
  4. Residual waste.

The buildings are also equipped with bins for large pieces of cardboard, glass containers and confidential paper containers. Though slightly less visible, the following streams are also collected separately at various locations:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Swill (food waste from catering locations)
  • Laboratory glass
  • Bulk waste
  • Wood
  • Electronic waste

There are special procedures for the disposal of hazardous waste (mostly chemicals). For more information on which procedures to follow, please contact the HSE coordinator of the faculty or service in question.

 Waste streams (in kg)

Waste streams in kg

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Construction & Demolition

4,320

1,960

2,000

2.200

2.140

Plastic, Metal & Beverage containers (PMB)

6,737

8,173

9,305

11,000

42.320

6.600

Hazardous waste

32,188

31,157

23,957

4.352

5.509

Glass

18,420

19,080

10,770

12,000

18.197

7.899

Wood

29,520

1,750

9,756

38,000

46.880

24.920

EP (expired products)

14,140

8,890

9,634

11.060

8.229

Paper/cardboard

137,772

123,939

134,682

181,000

144.466

94.005

Residual waste

372,464

386,732

407,904

535,000

594.024

409.152

Of which bulk residual waste

44,780

24,040

30,880


42.620

39.720

Swill

41,020

40,810

26,954

51,000

37.922

17.553

Confidential paper

23,756

32,242

28,426

23.426

10.980

Fats/

65

0

0

294

286

White/brown goods

9,904

0

3,080

3.200

2.580

Total

735,085

678,773

697,348

849,000

985.085

637.939


The graph above shows the amount of waste disposed by UT in recent years. For more information, please visit this page with facts and figures.

From 2017, all UT waste is collected by SUEZ. As a result, the breakdown into waste categories changed somewhat, which means the quantities after this date cannot be compared directly to the quantities in previous year. To find out more about when waste is collected, please see the ‘waste materials’ section in the products and services catalogue.

What goes where?

Proper waste separation reduces the amount of residual waste and makes it easier to recycle. 

  • Paper: newspapers, printer paper, cardboard, envelopes, books
  • PMB (plastic packaging, metal (cans), and drink cartons): plastic bottles, cans, drink cartons, foil
  • Organic waste (biodegradable waste): all biodegradable waste (excluding packaging material)
  • Residual waste: crisp bags, pens, napkins, polystyrene

You can use the waste separation guide developed by Milieucentraal (Dutch only) to find out how to separate your waste properly and which waste product belongs to which waste stream.

Where does the waste go?

Paper

Paper is sorted, pressed into large bales and transported to the paper mill, where the sheets of paper are turned into paper pulp. After the ink has been removed, the fibres are used to make new paper.

Biodegradable waste

Food waste and fruit waste are processed into compost or used for the production of biogas.

PMB

All plastic waste, trays, cans and cartons are sorted extensively, after which they can be reused to make new products, such as packaging, watering cans or furniture.

Residual waste

In the Netherlands, residual waste is incinerated, which generates that that is converted into energy. This is the energy that is used to heat most of UT’s buildings. Waste that cannot be incinerated is often used in road construction.

Waste separation in student housing

Students living on campus can hand in their separated PBM waste in the municipal orange container behind the Bastille. Glass containers can be found scattered all over campus (Calslaan oud, Campuslaan (Matenweg), Witbreksweg and behind Bastille). There are also white containers for clothing and textile behind Bastille and waste paper is collected in crates.

At student housing, waste is collected in block containers. In time, these will be replaced by several centrally located waste collection stations with underground containers for paper, PMB, glass and residual waste. Twente Milieu is currently conducting a trial for the collection of fruit & vegetable waste and we want to make use of their experience when making a decision on how to collect fruit & vegetable waste at student housing.

What can you do?

  • Prevent waste. Drink tap water instead of bottled water
  • Buy products with minimal packaging. Buy your fruit and vegetables unpackaged at the market.
  • Reuse products or look for reusable alternatives
  • Compost biodegradable waste (kitchen waste)
  • If you’re still left with waste, dispose of it in the correct waste bin. If the waste is separated properly, it’s easier to recycle.