Joining forces for efficient waste processing at New Amsterdam

A group of businesses in the New Amsterdam building have been working to optimize a smarter, more sustainable and more efficient approach to waste processing and disposal. The key is joining forces, thus consolidating suppliers and allowing for sustainable procurement. Calvin Choi, the owner of the Market33 food court, reached out to Hello Zuidas to ask if we could set up a case study on this initiative. That led to discussions with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, which deployed research student Stijn Kuhne to tackle the project. We talked to Calvin and Stijn about their findings. 

Source of frustration
The fundamental problem, Stijn explains, is that ‘The waste disposal space that not only Market33, but also SLA and Mizu Bar have to use is way too small. It’s not designed to facilitate three restaurants, which are all located in New Amsterdam. All three have their own bins for different kinds of rubbish, and those bins take up most of the space, so one can hardly even get through. This also makes rubbish collecting unnecessarily time-consuming, as a consequence of which it’s not done properly and has become a huge source of frustration for the vendors and collection services alike. Added to that, Hello Zuidas wants to reduce carbon emissions ahead of the new climate legislation. To do that, we’re looking whether the food stands in Market33 could group their suppliers’. Calvin nods. ‘I’ve been in regular touch with Hello Zuidas about area improvements for business owners, visitors and residents. At some point, the topic of reducing transport moments and restaurant logistics was raised, and that’s when we started discussing the “waste issue in New Amsterdam”, which hopefully can become a test case for other waste challenges in Zuidas. That is, if we find a solution.’ 

Hello Zuidas wants to reduce carbon emissions ahead of the new climate legislation

Joining forces
A lot of effort is now going into that solution. ‘Ideally’, says Stijn, ‘all three restaurants will, in the end, have a single shared waste processing contract for their waste disposal site. That will get rid of the bins and make space to throw rubbish out as well as collect it. If that all goes to plan, it will solve a big part of the frustrations. My research has identified how big a waste flow each business is producing as a share of the total, and based on that they can then split the costs fairly’. Calvin adds, ‘That translates to fewer collection times and more room in the disposal space. The food stand owners can also get together to determine whether they can group certain suppliers to reduce the number of transport movements and thus reduce CO2 emissions into the bargain’.