Zero Waste Action for Communities in Amsterdam

(Pitched: 7/15/2018)
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be met unless zero waste action is addressed as a priority. Failing economic models treat resources as if they were infinite (SDG 12) and consumption patterns favour the disposable. How can we continue with a growing and increasingly urbanised global population without getting waste sorted? RecyQ helps communities start climate action by 0-Waste.

One Page Summary

Zero Waste action is vital for achieving sustainable development goals in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is growing and has more than 830,000 inhabitants, the city welcomes over 5 million tourist visitors every year, and we’re producing waste every day. A staggering 81% of waste that is collected in Amsterdam ends up in the waste-to-energy incinerator in the Amsterdam Westpoort area.. emitting climate-relevant CO2 in the process and losing out on resources for the circular economy. More could and should be done by residents! Amsterdam has the ambition to achieve 65% recycling in 2020. The current 27% recycling rate is the lowest in the Netherlands where the national average is 51%. That’s more than 200 kg of recyclable or reusable waste spilled per person, most of it 42% organic.. On food waste alone we throw away €150 per person per year (SDG 2). The total opportunity cost is €25 million, the sum of incineration costs, climate-relevant CO2 emissions and lost income from circular resources such as compost, plastic, paper, glass, E-waste and textiles. On top citizens of Amsterdam pay a yearly waste collection tax; Its remarkable that a popular revolt hasn't happened yet. Admittedly the city of Amsterdam started operating a €30 million bio-digester this year to cut down on emissions, make better use of the "wet" bio waste streams and achieve a % increase in the recycling rate..

RecyQ has come up with a bottom-up solution; we help communities start climate action (SDG 13), within 6 months achieve 80% recycling, reusing and composting. We launched a smart city Zero Waste platform in Amsterdam Southeast to inform residents about the necessity of separating waste materials. We provide Splitbags for residents to participate with their own waste and give insight into the achievements with our mobile app. We partner with Municipality waste planners, neighbourhood centres, housing cooperatives, local shops and schools. (SDG 17) By making it easier and more interesting to separate waste we achieve a higher response rate. Sustainability is ensured by training local zero waste volunteers who run the project from within the community supported by RecyQ. Parts of the CO2 savings circulate back to the community and local economy by means of digital CO2 tokens, zero waste services and job creation. (SDG 11) Now is the time to recognize community Zero Waste is vital for achieving sustainable development goals. By involving more communities we ensure that everyone can help in the transition to a 100% zero waste Amsterdam!