Waste management

Managing conventional waste

The Laboratory has a centralised waste management system that handles all conventional waste collection and transportation for safe and appropriate disposal. Hazardous waste is sent to a temporary buffer zone and is collected weekly. Metallic and electronic waste is sorted and sold for recycling.

CERN implements waste reduction projects and awareness campaigns. The Organization’s main objective for waste management is to increase the current recycling rate, which was 56% in 2018 and reached 69% in 2022.

Managing radioactive waste

Radioactive waste management has always been a high priority for CERN. Today, it is handled in the framework of the tripartite agreement on radiation protection and radiation safety. The process begins with the initial conception of a facility or experiment and concludes with disposal of radioactive waste to the final repositories. The generation of radioactive waste is minimised by avoiding, recycling, and reusing activated material.

Further information on waste and CERN's recycling rate can be found in CERN's environment reports.

Waste by type