The circular economy moved to the centre!


The foundation "Center for Sustainable Use of Waste and Resources" ZAR, which was founded in 2010, considers waste as potential raw materials.

As an ambassador for a sustainable circular economy, the ZAR Foundation is committed to optimizing the use of the energy and raw materials contained in waste through thermo-recycling.

In concrete terms, the Board of Trustees understands this to mean: ZAR sees itself as an active ambassador, so that thermal recycling is perceived as an opportunity for the internationally propagated circular economy and as a measure to protect the climate. The vision is also oriented towards the goals of reducing climate-relevant gases from waste treatment: by recycling metals, large quantities of CO2 can be saved. In countries that still landfill their organic waste, thermal recycling can make an effective contribution to reducing methane pollution.


For waste that cannot be directly recycled, the Foundation ZAR develops practical solutions so that the highest possible proportion of the energy and materials contained in the waste can be returned to the economic cycle during thermal recycling. Processes are being developed for non-recyclable residues so that these can be eliminated or removed from the material cycle and deposited with as few emissions as possible.

This is what the Board of Trustees specifically means by this: ZAR is a provider of solutions for sustainable recycling management, with the focus on the recycling of materials from thermal waste treatment and plays a leading role as a development centre in this field. Thermal recycling is a solution approach for all combustible waste that cannot be directly recycled in an effective and ecologically sound manner. The development of solutions is based on both Swiss and international conditions. The Foundation ZAR contributes to the optimisation of thermal waste utilisation as part of the Swiss resource policy and as an element of an internationally aspired recycling economy.

  • One important goal is to remove non-recyclable materials from the economic cycle and to treat them in such a way that they can be deposited without emissions.
  • Acquired knowledge and experience is actively passed on in an understandable form.
  • ZAR discloses the ecological and economic benefits of the solutions developed.
  • ZAR is active in process development and ensures that identified solutions are also implemented in order to reduce emissions, can be set.


The Foundation ZAR develops new solutions in close cooperation with the players in the Swiss waste management sector. It strives for international networking and, with the brand name “thermo-re®”, ensures active dissemination of the knowledge gained.

In order to achieve the objectives set, the financing of the activities of the Foundation ZAR has to be ensured through various approaches:

  • Acquisition and maintenance of donors
  • Project financing for interested parties who are unable to make donations
  • Other sources of funding

In order to consolidate these efforts, the aim is to achieve a stronger anchoring in politics, society, business and science - this requires a corresponding transfer of knowledge. For various topics, e.g. treatment of residual slags, cooperation with potent technology partners should be sought. To improve the acceptance and perception of the Foundation ZAR and its work in the industry. Certificates for substances that are returned to the material cycle.

The primary fields of action are shown in the figure above.