CERN's Tidy-up week

Updated on: 2021-10-18

On September 18, 180 countries around the world will participate in the World Clean-up day, an annual social action with the objective of tackling the global waste problem. CERN will contribute to this effort by launching its own “Tidy-up week”, aimed at raising awareness about the need to reduce waste and properly sort recyclable materials.

CERN’s “Tidy-up week” will take place between 18 and 22 October 2021. This first pilot edition will concern the following buildings: 5, 23, 24, 31, 54, 57, 73, 93, 104, 193 (including 393), 288, 513, 561, 865, 904. If your building is not in the list but you're interested in joining this effort in the future, please contact the coordination group at

The event is carried out in collaboration with the respective Departmental Safety Officers (DSO) and Territorial Safety Officers (TSO).

Quick navigation

What will happen?

People working in the buildings concerned are invited to identify and sort equipment and material that they no longer need in their offices, workshops or laboratories. This includes paper, metal, wood, glass or office furniture. Use the containers and skips that will be made available inside or close to your building to facilitate sorting and recycling the material.

Only waste linked to CERN’s activities will be accepted during the event. We remind you that private waste and material shall not be brought to CERN for recycling and disposal.

Please keep in mind the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) of waste management. The entire list of recyclable materials can be found here.

For inspiration on how to tidy-up and organise your workplace better, you can refer to this presentation on the 5 S method (Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardise, Sustain).

How does it work?

In the weeks prior to the event, experts will help the occupants of the concerned buildings to identify and decide the appropriate action (storage, reuse, recycling, etc.). The date of the visit for each building will be indicated here soon.

During the week of the event, skips and containers will be available inside or close to the concerned buildings for the disposal of equipment and material. A transport team can help remove more voluminous objects. In that case, the removal and transport need to be arranged beforehand in collaboration with the TSO.

In order to facilitate the collection during the “Tidy-up week”, a simplified procedure will be applied to facilitate the collection and removal of materials and waste (exception: chemical waste and waste from radiation areas, which will follow the standard procedure). There will be no need to resort to tickets or EDH forms for most categories of materials. The TSOs will have direct contact with the Recuperation and Sales service to ask for the 1 m3 containers. When a container or skip is full, the TSO will contact the organising committee. A transport team will be devoted during the week to deliver and collect the containers.

You can consult this page to see the dedicated procedure for each waste category.

What is the building occupants’ role?

You should identify, sort, and bring material and waste to the appropriate containers inside or near your building. Please sort carefully according to the categories of recyclable material/waste.

For sorting, there are some specific procedures in place for this event:

  • Do not throw paper and cardboard in the paper box of your office, because it fills up quickly and will be too heavy! Use the containers with wheels provided especially for the event. Please remember also that if some cardboard or paper are soiled, by a used paper coffee cup for example, the whole bin is likely to be “declassified” as non-recyclable.
  • Empty the cupboards and other furniture items before asking for their removal via your TSO.
  • If you need a bin for confidential paper, please inform your TSO or the organising committee.
  • Bring items of personal consumption, such as aluminium coffee capsules, PET, and tin cans, to the usual recycling points, near building 156 and 904. For glass bottles, please see this list.
  • For chemical waste, inform your TSO and start the usual procedure for collecting chemical waste.
  • For waste coming from radiation classified areas, please proceed with the usual procedure.

The success of the event depends on good-will and discipline of the participants. The TSOs are there to assist you through this event, but only you can decide on what is no longer of use and sort it according to the procedures.

In case you have any questions, contact your TSO or the organising committee.

Useful links

Online training on waste management (LMS).

Online training on chemical waste (LMS).

Waste sorting at bldg 38