By Stephan Attiger, 17.08.2015
Resource Trialogue on the future of waste and resource management in Switzerland
Switzerland’s waste sector is in the throes of a process of transformation. This is generating new challenges for the various actors involved in the waste and recycling sector – and particularly for us cantons as executive authorities. As part of a broad-based dialogue process entitled the ‘Resource Trialogue’, the canton of Aargau is actively involved in a front-line process aimed at developing a joint understanding with the stakeholders of how the optimal approach to waste as a resource should be developed in the long term in Switzerland. The launch meeting of the Resource Trialogue took place in Bern on 17 August 2015.
Why organise a Resource Trialogue?
The focus in waste management today is no longer on the avoidance of environmental impacts but increasingly on the material and energy use of waste as a valuable resource. Through the use of waste as raw material, material cycles are closed, natural resources conserved and resource efficiency increased. Hence an important contribution is made to the green economy. This process of change and optimisation involves investments and corresponding risks, and poses new challenges for the various actors involved. The presence of increasing numbers of private actors in the market gives rise to a greater need for coordination, e.g. between public law institutions with the task of providing basic services and private companies in the waste and resource sector. Consumers, trade and manufacturing industry would like lean, cost-effective and, at the same time, environmentally-friendly solutions. This process needs the contribution of the federal authorities and us as cantons as regulators.
What is the aim?
The term ‘trialogue’ stands for a moderated, structured, substantive and target-oriented exploration of a socially important topic. With the Resource Trialogue, it is intended to stage a broad-based dialogue process on waste management, the importance of waste as a resource and the role of the different actors in waste management. In the course of the Trialogue, developments and challenges in the waste and resource sector will be analysed and possible solutions for future resource management will be developed. The Trialogue provides an opportunity to develop – together with the key associations and institutions from society, business and politics affected by the topic – a shared interpretation of the topic of “waste as a resource” and to learn from each other. Among other things, the insights from the Trialogue will provide an important basis for a mission statement by the waste management sector for 2030.
Who is behind the Trialogue?
The Trialogue is based on an initiative of Swiss Recycling (SR), the association of Swiss waste recycling plants (Verband der Betreiber Schweizerischer Abfallverwertungsanlagen, VBSA) and the canton of Aargau. The organisers also succeeded in attracting support of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and economiesuisse, Swiss business federation, as partners. The Trialogue was launched on 17 August 2015 with a first meeting in Bern and is expected to conclude in 2017.
Editor's note: Individual contributions may reflect an author's personal perspective. Over time, the spectrum of political views will be reflected in the variety of the contributions published. Editorial principles
Last modification 15.09.2015