Mineral cat litter clogs Swiss landfills - rts.ch - THECHOWANIECS.COM

Mineral cat litter clogs Swiss landfills – rts.ch

Mineral litter constitutes between 5% and 10% of bottom ash, which represents between 40,000 and 80,000 tonnes of waste per year in Switzerland. However, the space dedicated to these combustion residues in landfills is limited. What are the alternatives?

In Switzerland, 30% of households have a cat at home, according to the Federal Statistical Office. However, who says cat says litter and who says litter says waste. Some clay or silica-based cat litters do not burn during incineration. In other words, they generate bottom ash or combustion residues that must be stored specifically in landfills.

These mineral litters constitute between 5% and 10% of bottom ash, which represents between 40,000 and 80,000 tonnes of waste per year in Switzerland.

Use vegetable litter

The problem with these clay-based litters is the space they take up in bottom ash landfills. “However, this place is limited and it is a pity to waste it with cat litter”, explains Robin Quartier, director of the Swiss Association of operators of waste treatment facilities, interviewed by We are talking about it.

To remedy the problem, Robin Quartier recommends the use of plant-based rather than mineral-based cat litter. “Clay litter does not destroy itself, so it is much more harmful to the environment than plant-based cat litter, which is completely eliminated by incineration. Best of all, it releases energy in recovery plants thermal, usable in district heating.”

There are shavings, sawdust or corn litter, but several cities such as Geneva and Zurich advise against throwing them in the compost despite their biodegradability. Cat droppings are indeed problematic “because of a potential risk of infection with diseases such as toxoplasmosis and fox tapeworm”, specifies Robin Quartier.

Bottom ash, residues that are difficult to reuse

Of the 24 million tonnes of waste delivered to thermal recovery plants, 20%, or 4.8 million tonnes, does not burn. These are the clinkers. “Cat sand constitutes 5% to 10% of bottom ash. There is also gravel and sand, picked up during the sweeping of our roads, concrete, broken dishes from households and glass thrown in public trash cans. by mistake.”

Bottom ash is difficult to reuse. “These materials do not have very interesting mechanical capacities. Nevertheless, research projects are trying to revalorize the mineral remains”, concludes Robin Quartier.

Radio subject and comments collected by Marie Tschumi

Web adaptation: Myriam Semaani

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