44% was recycled or composted
In the European Union (EU), the amount of municipal waste generated per person in 2014 amounted to 475 kg, down by 10% compared with its peak of 527 kg per person in 2002. Since 2007, the generation of municipal waste per person has constantly decreased in the EU to below its mid-1990s level.
Of the 475 kg of municipal waste generated per person in the EU in 2014, 465 kg per person were treated. This treatment followed different methods: 28% was recycled and another 28% landfilled, 27% incinerated and 16% composted. The share of municipal waste recycled or composted in the EU has steadily increased over the time period, from 17% in 1995 to 44% in 2014.
This information comes from a report issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Waste generated per person was highest in Denmark, Cyprus, Germany and Luxembourg
The amount of municipal waste generated varies significantly across the EU Member States. With less than 300 kg per person, Romania (based on 2013 data), Poland and Latvia had the lowest amounts of waste generated in 2014, followed by the Czech Republic and Slovakia (both just over 300 kg per person). At the opposite end of the scale, Denmark (759 kg per person) had the highest amount of waste generated in 2014, well ahead of Cyprus, Germany and Luxembourg with lower amounts but above 600 kg per person, and Malta, Ireland (based on 2013 data), Austria, the Netherlands, France and Greece with values between 500 and 600 kg per person. It should be noted that different coverage of municipal waste explains part of the differences between Member States.
Almost two-thirds of municipal waste recycled or composted in Germany
The treatment methods differ substantially between Member States. In 2014, almost half of municipal waste treated was recycled in Slovenia (49%) and Germany (47%). Composting was most common in Austria (32%), followed by the Netherlands (27%) and Belgium (21%). Together, recycling and composting accounted in 2014 for nearly two-thirds (64%) of waste treatment in Germany, followed by Slovenia (61%), Austria (58%), Belgium (55%) and the Netherlands (51%). At least half of the municipal waste treated in 2014 was incinerated in Estonia (56%), Denmark (54%), Finland and Sweden (both 50%), while the highest shares of municipal waste landfilled were recorded in Latvia (92%), Malta (88%), Croatia (83%), Romania (82% in 2013), Greece (81% in 2013), Slovakia (76%), Cyprus (75%) and Bulgaria (74%).