Germany: 64% of municipal solid waste recycled or composted

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

Germany stands out among European countries for the amount of municipal solid waste recycled or composted with a total of 64% in 2013, according to Eurostat. The recycling rate of MSW in Germany stood at 47% in 2013. These results are due mainly to the effectiveness of recycling run by municipalities, which represents a basic premise for the recycling of waste. An important contribution was made by the introduction of a ban on landfill for municipal solid waste, which came into force in 2005. The prohibition has fostered the development of ecological treatment facilities and led to a significant increase in the rate of municipal solid waste recycling in the country. This evolution has led to a reduction in the emission of methane gas into the atmosphere equivalent to 30 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. Between 1990 and 2010 a reduction of 70-80% of these emissions was achieved, corresponding to about 10% of the total reduction in greenhouse gas emissions arrived at in Germany. The European Union 31% of MSW is still sent to landfill. In light of these figures, the German association of municipal administrations, Vku, has urged the European Union to impose an equivalent prohibition on landfill disposal for all recyclable waste. To implement a true circular economy, the European Union must also give greater importance to ecological design, according to the Association Vku. Thanks to a design which is intelligent design and geared towards recycling, a substantial reduction can be obtained in the quantity of packaging waste generated, saving valuable resources and achieving economic as well as environmental benefits.