480 kg of municipal waste generated per person in the EU


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In the European Union (EU), the amount of municipal waste generated per person in 2016 amounted to 480 kg, down by 9% compared with its peak of 527 kg per person in 2002, and roughly comparable to the 483 kg recorded in 2015.


Waste generated per person was highest in Denmark, Malta, Cyprus, Germany and Luxembourg

The amount of municipal waste generated varied significantly across the EU Member States. With 261 kg per person, Romania generated the lowest amount of waste, followed by Poland (307 kg per person), the Czech Republic (339 kg per person) and Slovakia (348 kg per person). At the opposite end of the scale, Denmark (777 kg per person) generated the highest amount of waste in 2016, well ahead of Malta (647 kg per person), Cyprus (640 kg per person), Germany (626 kg per person) and Luxembourg (614 kg per person). It should be noted that the reporting of municipal waste differs among Member States and may explain some of the variation in the data.


Municipal waste generation


47% was recycled or composted

The treatment of municipal waste was undertaken using different methods. Overall in the EU in 2016, 30% of the waste was recycled, 27% incinerated, 25% landfilled and 17% composted. The share of municipal waste recycled or composted in the EU has steadily increased over the time period, from 17% in 1995 to 46% in 2016. Across Member States, recycling and composting together accounted in 2016 for two-thirds of waste treatment in Germany (66%), and for more than half in Austria (59%), Belgium (54%), the Netherlands (53%) and Italy (51%).


For more information
Statistics Explained article on municipal waste statistics
Visualisation tool on circular economy
Source dataset on municipal waste generation
Source dataset on municipal waste treatment