In a circular economy, we no longer talk about waste, but about resource loops. RIVM contributes to the safe re-use of these materials. We provide assistance in considering safety, health and sustainability.

Safe, healthy and sustainable re-use is important, because:

  • Hazardous substances, medicine residues and pathogens can pose obstacles to establishing safe, closed resource loops.
  • Sustainability initiatives are not always more cost-effective. Sometimes it takes a lot of energy to re-use natural resources, making that option less sustainable overall.

RIVM links risk analyses to sustainability estimates to assess recycling processes. We also derive standards and limit values for re-use.

From low-quality to high-quality recycling

In many cases, materials diminish in quality when they are recycled. This happens for instance when different types of plastic are mixed together, limiting the possible uses after recycling. To retain quality throughout the recycling process, it is key to ensure that we structure our recycling processes in smarter ways. In processes involving high-quality recycling, products often stay closer to the people who use them. That makes safety even more important. RIVM assesses the risks of the ongoing growth in high-quality recycling of waste flows.

Safe recycling of substances

Waste that contains substances of concern needs to be re-used without resulting in any risks for human health or the environment.