Landfill Accounts For Majority of Municipal Waste Treated in the EU27

In the EU27, 502 kg of municipal waste was generated per person in 2010, while 486 kg of municipal waste was treated per person. This municipal waste was treated in different ways – 38% was landfilled, 22% incinerated, 25% recycled and 15% composted.

The amount of municipal waste generated varies significantly across Member States. Cyprus, with 760 kg per person, had the highest amount of waste generated in 2010, followed by Luxembourg, Denmark and Ireland with values between 600 and 700 kg per person, and the Netherlands, Malta, Austria, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Portugal with values between 500 and 600 kg. Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Greece, Slovenia, Hungary and Bulgaria had values between 400 and 500 kg, while values of below 400 kg per person were recorded in Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia and Latvia.

Incineration represents half or more of waste treatment in Denmark and Sweden

The treatment methods differ substantially between Member States. In 2010, the Member States with the highest share of municipal waste landfilled were Bulgaria (100% of waste treated), Romania (99%), Lithuania (94%) and Latvia (91%).

The highest shares of incinerated municipal waste were observed in Denmark (54% of waste treated), Sweden (49%), the Netherlands (39%), Germany (38%), Belgium (37%), Luxembourg (35%) and France (34%). In ten Member States incineration was equal to or below 1%.

Recycling was most common in Germany (45% of waste treated), Belgium (40%), Slovenia (39%), Sweden (36%), Ireland (35%) and the Netherlands (33%). The Member States with the highest composting rates for municipal waste were Austria (40%), the Netherlands (28%), Belgium (22%), Luxembourg (20%), Denmark (19%) and Spain (18%).

Recycling and composting of municipal waste together accounted for 50% of waste treated or more in Austria (70%), Belgium and Germany (both 62%), the Netherlands (61%) and Sweden (50%). In five Member States less than 10% of waste was recycled or composted.

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