EU city recycling rate continues to rise

The amount of household waste recycled or composted continues to rise across the EU. The push to send less rubbish to landfill goes on, jumping from 18% in 1995 to […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The amount of household waste recycled or composted continues to rise across the EU.

The push to send less rubbish to landfill goes on, jumping from 18% in 1995 to 42% in 2012.

Recent estimated figures from the EU’s statistic body Eurostat include waste from households, small businesses and public institutions but not industry or agriculture.

On average 492kg of municipal waste was generated per person in the EU28 in 2012.

The UK came in just under this average, with 472kg per head while the Danes produced the highest amount with more than 668kg.

Denmark was followed by Cyprus, Luxembourg and Germany which all generated more than 600kg.

Eastern European nations dominated the other end of the spectrum, with Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland and Estonia among those with waste levels below 400kg per person.

As for reusing the rubbish, in 2012 more than 50% of municipal waste was recycled or composted in Germany, Austria and Belgium.

Recycling and composting was also the major part of waste treatment in the Netherlands (50%), Luxembourg (47%), the United Kingdom (46%), Ireland (45%).

Estonia and Switzerland sent zero waste to landfill, with the Swiss incinerating 50% of any waste which wasn’t composted or recycled and the Estonians burning 35%.