Eurostat: Per capita MSW below 1990s levels

18 November 2016
Categoria:  International review
Tag: europe, waste

The per capita amount of solid waste generated in 2013 in the EU amounted to 481kg. Compared to the 2002 peak (527kg per capita), this relates to an 8.7% decrease. From 2007 to the present, there has been a steady decrease in the amount of solid waste generated in the EU and the per capita figure is lower than the figures recorded in the mid-90s. This is what emerged from the data recently released by Eurostat. Out of 481kg of MSW per capita, 470kg were treated in various ways: 31% was sent to landfill, 26% was recycled, 28% incinerated and 15% composted. The percentage of MSW which is recycled or composted within the EU has steadily increased, from 18% in 1995 to 43% in 2013. The data varies considerably from one Member State to another. The lowest values were recorded in Romania, Estonia and Poland,with less than 300kg per capita. Slovakia, Czech Republic and Latvia did not perform much better, with levels only just above 300kg per capita. The country that generated the greatest amount of waste was Denmark, with 747kg per inhabitant, followed by Luxembourg, Cyprus, and Germany, with values over 600kg per capita. Ireland, Austria, Malta, France, Netherlands and Greece recorded levels between 500 and 600kg per head. It should be noted, however, that these differences are partly due to the different methods used to measure the amount of solid waste generated. Member States which have obtained the best results in recycling are Slovenia, with 55% of MSW recycled, Germany (47%), Belgium and Ireland (34%) and Sweden (33%). Composting has reached 35% in Austria, 26% in the Netherlands and 21% in Belgium. The countries who make greater use of incineration are Estonia (64% of MSW), Denmark (54%) and Sweden (50%). Landfill prevails in Romania (97% of MSW), Malta (88%), Croatia (85%), Latvia (83%) and Greece (81%).