What SBB is doing about it.
The disposal and recycling of used materials is an important facet of environmental responsibility, and is given a high priority at SBB.
For SBB, dealing with materials sustainably means avoiding or reducing waste wherever possible, collecting recyclables separately if it can be recycled and disposing of residual waste in an environmentally compatible ways.
But waste disposal and recycling not only affects SBB's operational and maintenance materials – the growing quantities of rubbish in trains and at stations also presents a major challenge. The waste that SBB disposes of each year would fill around 2,700 freight trucks. These could form a train over 30 kilometres long, which would completely fill the line from Berne to Biel/Bienne. As customers, you too can make a contribution.
Each day around 400 employees clean over 800 stations for our customers. A further 850 members of staff make sure our trains are clean. And since October 2013, they have been working on the move too – during peak periods, our mobile cleaners in their red uniforms have been collecting plastic bottles, coffee cups and newspapers and emptying waste bins on major routes.
Recycling points as a success story.
In October 2012, SBB installed 128 recycling points at Berne railway station as part of a pilot scheme. Passengers could so dispose of the recyclable materials paper, plastic bottles and aluminium cans separately. The result has been impressive, with customers disposing of 95 percent of waste materials correctly. SBB’s customers are able to sort their waste at the 34 largest train stations. SBB reckons with 750 tonnes of recycled newspapers, plastic bottles and aluminium cans per year that would otherwise have been incinerated. The Pilot recycling scheme at Bern has won SBB the first ever "Green Can Award".