Who decides whether my waste is post-separated or separated-at-source?

  • How waste is collected is decided by the municipalities themselves. They might decide for separation-at-source or post-separation or a combination of the two. The term post-separation only refers to residual waste, from which PMD waste is subsequently removed. Avalex will implement whatever policy the municipality has chosen. Municipalities can decide whether to collect the PMD waste separately (separation-at-source) or to collect it afterwards from residual waste (post-separation). From 2022, Avalex will have the residual waste processed by HVC. HVC has a post-separation installation.

    ‘Separation-at-source where possible and post-separation where necessary.’

Why do we need to separate waste?

  • Resources are running out. That’s why it is important to prevent and reduce waste. Is there something you are about to throw away that might still be repairable? Or maybe you can make someone else happy with something you want to get rid of? If we were all to pay attention to this, we would be taking less raw materials from the earth. Recycling is good, but minimizing waste is even better because that’s how we can save on raw materials, emissions and energy. The best way to recycle waste is to separate it first. So organic waste with organic waste, glass with glass, paper with paper, etc. Then we collect it and make sure that the separated waste is taken to the factory, so that new products can be made from it. You can find more information on separating waste at By separating waste properly, we end up with less residual waste. Residual waste is incinerated, which costs money, so it becomes more expensive if we have a lot of residual waste left over. Separating waste is therefore important for the environment and your wallet.
  • We often hear that separating waste makes no sense, because everything ends up in one big pile anyway. That is simply not true. We can recycle raw materials and make money, whereas residual waste is incinerated, which means that we can no longer make anything from it. Incinerating residual waste is expensive; much more expensive than processing waste into raw materials.

What is the difference between separation-at-source and post-separation?

  • Separation-at-source is the separate collection of raw materials, such as glass, paper, organic waste and PMD. This leaves a small amount of residual waste. In the case of post-separation, all raw materials are also collected separately except for PMD waste, which can be disposed of with residual waste. The PMD waste is then separated out at the factory.

What is post-separation?

  • During post-separation, plastic and metal packaging and drinking cartons are separated out from the residual waste. Other waste streams, such as organic waste, textiles and paper/cardboard, cannot be further separated. You should therefore always put these types of waste separately in the correct container to begin with.
  • Post-separation does not mean ‘throw everything into one container’. Paper, glass, textiles and organic waste cannot be separated out, so these waste streams should always be collected separately. Post-separation is an alternative collection method for PMD waste only and does not offer a total solution for all streams of raw materials.

Why post-separation?

  • Post-separation is used wherever separation-at-source is not feasible. For example, it is more difficult to separate waste properly in high-rise buildings and highly urbanized areas. There is often less space to properly separate the waste, so post-separation is a workable alternative.
  • Post-separation can also be effective in areas which have seen low collection results from separated-at-source PMD.

Why is separation-at-source preferred?

  • We are always careful to state that we prefer one method over the other. Separation-at-source and post-separation complement each other as collection systems, but if separation-at-source is applied properly, it produces the cleanest PMD streams (fewer odours, less visibly affected), is relatively cheaper and generally leads to a higher percentage of recycling. Where it is difficult to implement separation-at-source, post-separation of PMD is used as an alternative to improve the separation results of these raw materials.
  • Separation-at-source also makes people more aware of waste separation. It has been shown in practice that people who use a PMD container will also tend to separate the other waste streams better.

Why do different municipalities opt for post-separation?

  • The reason that some municipalities opt for post-separation is that they find it difficult or impossible to implement separation-at-source. It may be because a municipality is large with a lot of high-rise buildings and/or because it does not have the right collection structure for proper separation-at-source. Post-separation will then yield more volume, but the PMD waste will also be more contaminated. The post-separated PMD waste also has to be sorted, which is an extra step. This does not alter the fact that where separation-at-source is difficult, post-separation of PMD is a viable option which improves the separation results of these raw materials.