Europeans reduced their waste production by an average of 481kg per person in 2013, but only 43% of their waste was recycled or treated, pointed out Eurostat (European office of statistics) on Thursday. Denmark is the largest producer of municipal waste (including household, business, and public waste), with 747kg per person per year. The country recycled 28% of this waste, composted 17%, and incinerated 54%. Only 2% ended up in landfill.
Although Romania produces the least waste, 272kg per person, 97% of it finds its way into landfill.
France is substantially above the average with its annual 530kg per person, 34% of which was incinerated, 21% recycled, 17% composted and 28% sent to landfill.
The EU reached a peak in its production of municipal waste in 2002, with 527kg per person. From 2007 this amount has been steadily decreasing, but each country has a very different record for treatment, highlights Eurostat.
Landfill remains the destination of choice for most waste, with 12 EU member states sending over 50% of their waste to landfill.
Only seven countries recycle and compost half of the waste they produce – Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden.
The new European commission has cancelled 6 legislative proposals regarding waste, wrapping, landfills, end-of-life vehicles, which were blocked by various states. But it promised to submit a project for recycling waste and re-using materials.