Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions from our community about EcoPoints. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, please contact us.
In 2015, a review of our waste management processes showed that the material and signage of waste containers varied significantly, reflecting the different periods of building construction. Furthermore, we analyzed campus bins to identify their contents. This analysis revealed:
- A potential for reducing the volume of incinerated waste: paper, PET bottles, and aluminum cans were found in waste that was headed for incineration
- Recurring sorting errors: plastic cups in the PET bin and cardboard cups in the paper bin, for example. These materials are not processed in these streams, so they must be incinerated.
In response, we introduced a new waste management concept: EcoPoints. These are centralized collection points designed to recover recyclable materials and reduce the volume of incinerable waste. Depending on its location, each EcoPoint can collect three to five types of waste: PET, aluminum, paper, glass, and of course incinerable waste. EcoPoints now replace individual bins, which will simplify cleaning processes. There is at least one EcoPoint on each floor of our buildings at EPFL and in areas where people regularly pass through. Our goal is to standardize containers and waste-related signage.
No. Several companies and other organizations in French-speaking Switzerland – such as Nestlé (Vers chez les Blancs site), the University of Geneva (Batelle site), Swisscom, Retraites Populaires and RTS – have already introduced EcoPoints to improve their waste sorting.
EcoPoint locations have been chosen based on footfall data, safety constraints (a 1.20m escape route is required in case of fire) and of course, financial constraints. If you feel that the location of an EcoPoint is not appropriate, you can discuss it with your building’s caretaker and suggest a better location. Moreover, aluminum containers are not always installed at each EcoPoint, but there is at least one on each floor.
Yes, but it will no longer be emptied by the cleaning service. It will be your responsibility to empty it at an EcoPoint. Also, bin bags will no longer be provided.
Yes, but it will no longer be emptied by the cleaning service. It will be your responsibility to empty it at an EcoPoint.
You should take ink and toner cartridges to your local waste collection center, along with any cardboard and tea and coffee capsules.
You should take tea and coffee capsules to your local waste collection center, along with any cardboard and ink and toner cartridges. In some buildings, containers for collecting tea and coffee capsules can be set up in your break room, and they will be maintained by the caretaker staff.
You should take cardboard to your local waste collection center, along with any ink and toner cartridges and tea and coffee capsules.
All other types of waste must be taken to the main waste collection center (located under the Esplanade on the Lausanne campus), except for hazardous waste (chemical or biological).