Corona also left traces in the mountains of rubbish

The waste management sector has also been hit hard by the corona crisis: The amount of waste and the composition of the garbage have fluctuated greatly and the disposal companies often had to adjust to very short-term changes. Nevertheless, most companies in the industry came through the crisis well and most companies are well utilized, according to the balance sheet of the Association of Austrian Waste Management Companies (VOEB) after a year of corona pandemic.

Many companies have reacted to Corona with shift concepts, protective equipment and emergency plans that have proven themselves in the long term, VOEB President Gaby Jüly reported in a message on Friday. The VOEB represents more than 250 waste disposal companies. “Depending on the lockdown, the amount of waste changed within a day, and it was never foreseeable how long an opening or closing would last,” said Jüly.

During the pandemic, there were significant drops in food waste from gastronomy and tourism, while the composition of waste paper and cardboard has changed: There is significantly more packaging waste due to online trading, 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.

There was a slight increase in household waste by up to 5 percent. In the case of commercial and industrial waste, the waste disposal companies reported a decrease of up to 20 percent, although the differences are very large depending on the industry – there were also total failures in the catering trade. Depending on the region and the influence of tourism, hotels and restaurants, there was a decrease in food waste of up to 90 percent. Organic waste from households has increased slightly.

Apparently, many people used the first lockdown to clear things out – after the waste material collection centers (ASZ) opened again, there was a temporary rush to the dungpits.

A special feature of the pandemic was the waste disposal around test roads throughout Austria. It is done by the private waste disposal companies.

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