Slightly up: 477 kg of municipal waste generated per person in 2015 in the EU

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Abfalltonnen (Foto: Kroll/ Recyclingportal.eu)

Brussels — The amount of municipal waste generated per person in the European Union (EU) in 2015 increased to 477 kg, down by 9 percent compared with its peak of 527 kg per person in 2002, but slightly up, for the first time since 2007, from the 474 kg recorded in 2014.

The amount of municipal waste generated varies significantly across the EU Member States. With less than 300 kg per person, Romania (based on 2014 data) and Poland had the lowest amounts of waste generated in 2015, followed by the Czech Republic and Slovakia (both just over 300 kg per person).

At the opposite end of the scale, Denmark (789 kg per person) had the highest amount of waste generated in 2015, well ahead of Cyprus, Germany, Luxembourg and Malta, where the amount of waste produced per person was less but still above 600 kg. It should be noted that different coverage of municipal waste explains part of the differences between Member States.

Municipal waste was treated in different ways. Overall, 29 percent of it was recycled and another 28 percent landfilled, 26 percent incinerated and 17 percent composted. The share of municipal waste recycled or composted in the EU has steadily increased over the time period, from 17 percent in 1995 to 46 percent in 2015.

Across Member States, recycling and composting together accounted for over two-thirds of waste treatment in Germany (68 percent), and for more than half in Austria and Slovenia (both 58 percent), Belgium (55 percent) and the Netherlands (52 percent). Data from Ireland and Greece were not available.

Source: Eurostat