Waste reduction

NS produced around 18.5 thousand tons of waste in 2016 in its trains and at its workshops, stations and offices. Our aim is to be more efficient in our use of materials and for new raw materials to be extracted from the waste. When disposing of materials, we look first to see whether the product can be reused, then we consider the reuse of product parts and finally the option of recycling the materials. Because we spend over a billion euros on goods and services every year, our measures can help boost the closed-cycle economy: NS ensures that manufacturers or suppliers can take the products or materials at the end of their useful life or phase of operation and reuse them in a new cycle, thereby not generating any waste.

Waste: our results in 2016

  • 33% of waste separated in offices, workshops, stations and trains

  • 2.9% more waste compared with 2015

Staff at our workshops were able to separate over 85% of the waste in 2016. The amount of waste at our workshops went up in comparison to 2015 because the amount of work increased. We were only able to make waste separation possible at stations and in trains by the end of 2016, which is why no improvement can be seen in this year’s figures. Compared to last year, a slight decrease (around 1%) was achieved.

2020: 80% of waste recycled as raw materials

By 2020, we want 80% of our waste to be recycled as raw materials for new products. We aim to achieve this for example by:

  • separating out waste at the source and after use

  • putting circular procurement into practice when purchasing materials

  • organising process ownership (waste managers) throughout NS in order to achieve waste targets

  • collaborating with key stakeholders such as suppliers and ProRail

  • Green Deal for circular procurement

  • Green Deal for waste reduction and recycling at stations and in trains.

Green Deal: more separation, less waste

In the second half of 2016, four extra stations were given separate waste bins (Amsterdam CS, Utrecht CS, Alkmaar and Eindhoven). The retail formats also started separating organic waste at Amsterdam Centraal and Eindhoven. The new Flirt trains, which became operational late 2016, have separate waste bins. Since November, passengers have been able to buy a refillable ‘smart cup’ at the new Kiosks. Using this cup gets you a €0.25 discount on hot beverages at any Kiosk in the Netherlands. Furthermore, to make waste separation easier for passengers, we launched the “sustainability platform for passengers” together with our waste processing company Van Gansewinkel.