Waste Management : Corona provided more packaging waste

recyclage déchets pollution traitement recycler usine bâtiment consommation déchet poubelle carburant concept conscience développement durable tri tri sélectif danger disposer durabilité dégradable efficient empilée environnement écologie gestion fourche télescopique consumérisme industriel emballage intérieur machine manier municipale mécanique mêlée odorat plastique poubelles produit recueillir site surpopulation séparation technologie toxique usage plastiques papier vert
© Image'in - stock.adobe.com

The waste management industry has also been hit hard by the Corona crisis: Waste volumes and the composition of waste have fluctuated greatly, and waste management companies have often had to adjust to changes at very short notice. Nevertheless, most of the companies in the sector have come through the crisis well and most of the companies have a good workload, according to the balance sheet of the Association of Austrian Waste Management Companies after one year of the Corona pandemic.

Many companies had responded to Corona with shift concepts, protective equipment and emergency plans that had proven their worth in the long term, reported Gaby Jüly, President of the Association of Austrian Waste Management Companies, which represents more than 250 waste management companies. "Depending on the lockdown, waste volumes changed within a day, and it was never foreseeable how long an opening or closure would last," Jüly said.

There were significant drops in food waste from restaurants and tourism during the pandemic, while the composition of waste paper and cardboard changed: There is significantly more packaging waste due to online commerce, but much less printed matter such as newspapers and magazines. Industrial and commercial waste developed very differently, depending on how much production suffered from the pandemic.

For household waste, there was a slight increase of up to five percent. For commercial and industrial waste, waste companies reported decreases of up to 20 percent, with wide variations depending on the industry - there were also total failures in the food service industry. For food waste, there were decreases of up to 90 percent, depending on the region and the influence of tourism, hotels and restaurants. Organic waste from households increased slightly. A special feature of the pandemic was waste disposal around test roads throughout Austria. It is managed by private waste management companies.