Waste generation and treatment (env_wasgt)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E2: Environmental statistics and accounts; sustainable development

1.5. Contact mail address

L-2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 29/04/2019
2.2. Metadata last posted 29/04/2019
2.3. Metadata last update 29/04/2019

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

On the basis of the Regulation on waste statistics (EC) No. 2150/2002, amended by Commission Regulation (EU) No. 849/2010, data on the generation and treatment of waste is collected from the Member States. The information on waste generation has a breakdown in sources (19 business activities according to the NACE classification and household activities) and in waste categories (according to the European Waste Classification for statistical purposes). The information on waste treatment is broken down to five treatment types (recovery, incineration with energy recovery, other incineration, disposal on land and land treatment) and in waste categories.

All values are measured in tonnes of waste and in kg per capita, based on the annual average of the population.

The Member States are free to decide on the data collection methods. The general options are: surveys, administrative sources, statistical estimations or some combination of methods.

For the first reference year 2004 Member States could apply for permission not to deliver part of the information: waste generated by agriculture and fishing and waste generated in the services sector. For this reason this information is missing for some of the countries.

Previously data on waste was collected on a voluntary basis with the joint OECD/Eurostat questionnaire on waste.

3.2. Classification system

The domain consists of three data sets: Generation of waste, treatment of waste and waste treatment facilities. The data set on the generation of waste is broken down into waste categories and the source of waste generation; the data set on the treatment of waste is broken down into the type of treatment and waste category. The dataset on waste treatment facilities is broken down into the measurement variable (number of facilities, capacity), the waste operation and NUTS2 regions.

 Waste categories:

The data sets contain a breakdown into 51 waste categories according to the European Waste Classification for statistical purposes: EWC-Stat. It is a mainly substance oriented classification and it distinguishes hazardous and non-hazardous waste. The classification is linked to the administrative classification List of Wastes: List of wastes.

Source of waste generation:

The generation of waste is attributed to either production or consumption activities. The actor handing over the waste to the waste management system is regarded as the source. For production activities a further breakdown is supplied in 18 economic activities according to the NACE rev. 2 classification. Three of these activities are linked to the waste management and will contain secondary waste: Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities; materials recovery (division 38), Remediation activities and other waste management services (division 39) and Wholesale of waste and scrap (class 46.77). In addition to the waste generated by businesses waste is generated by households.


Treatment types:

On the basis of the treatment operations defined in the Waste Framework Directive 75/442/EEC and amemded by Directive 2008/98/EC a distinction is made in treatment types:

Recovery (excluding energy recovery) (RCV_NE): operations R2 to R11;

Energy recovery (RCV_E): Operation R1;

Recovery other than energy recovery - backfilling (RCV_B)

Recovery other than energy recovery - except backfilling (RCV_O): RCV_NE - RCV_B

Incineration (Without energy recovery) (INC): D10

Disposal on land (DSP_D): Operations D1, D5, D12

Land treatment/release into water (DSP_O): Operations D2, D3, D4, D6, D7

Landfill / disposal (D1-D7, D12)(DSP_L): Operations D1-D7, D12; DSP_D + DSP_O



The tables on waste generation and treatment are available at national level; the table on waste treatment facilities is available at regional level (NUTS2): regions.


Aggregates TOT_X_MIN and major mineral waste:

The aggregate TOT_X_MIN covers hazardous and non-hazardous waste from EWC-codes excluding major mineral wastes
(Total Waste = TOT_X_MIN + Major Mineral Waste).

Until 2008 major mineral waste and TOT_X_MIN could only be calculated for waste generation, major mineral waste covered the following waste categories:

Mineral waste from construction and demolition (EWC-Stat 12.1)

- Other mineral wastes (12.2, 12.3, 12.5)

- Contaminated soils and polluted dredging spoils (12.6).

Since 2010 major mineral waste and TOT_X_MIN is calculated for waste generation and waste treatment. Major mineral waste covers the following waste categories:

- Mineral waste from construction and demolition (EWC-Stat 12.1)

- Other mineral wastes (12.2,12.3, 12.5)

- Soils (12.6)

- Dredging spoils (12.7).

Aggregates primary waste (PRIM) and secondary waste (SEC):

Secondary waste is waste resulting from the treatment of waste, e.g. ashes from incineration or sorting residues. The amount of secondary waste is approximated by the sum of the three waste categories

- Sludges and liquid waste from waste treatment (EWC-Stat 3.3)

- Sorting residues" and (10.3)

- Mineral waste from waste treatment and stabilised waste (128_13)

Several other waste categories may include secondary waste as well. However, the quantification of the share of secondary waste within the waste covered by these categories is not possible. On these grounds only the three aforementionned waste categories are drawn into acconunt for the calculation of secondary waste.

Primary waste is approximated by the differnce of Total Waste and secondary waste.
(PRIM = Total Waste - SEC)

3.3. Coverage - sector

The database on waste generation includes all economic activities and in addition waste generated by households.

The database on waste treatment does not include pre-treatment activities (like sorting, drying), but only the final treatment.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Waste: any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard.

The sludges (including the dredging spoils) are measured in dry matter.

3.5. Statistical unit

Reporting units may be: legal units (e.g. producers, importers, exporters, distributors) local units or households, etc. They report on their data on kind-of activity unit or local unit level. Observation units are units of weight of waste and units of weight per capita.

3.6. Statistical population

In the table on waste generation: all national waste generated.

In the table on waste treatment: all waste treated within the boarders of a country (consequently excluding exports and including imports of waste).

3.7. Reference area

The following regional levels are used in the database: EU aggregate, national data and for waste treatment facilities also regional data at NUTS2 level.

Waste statistics covers the European Union, European Economic Area (Iceland, Norway) and Candidate Countries.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Data is published biennial since 2004.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top

1) tonnes (European totals are rounded to 10,000 tonnes for confidentiality reasons)

2) kg per capita (based on the annual average of the population)

5. Reference Period Top

Reference period is the calender-year.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2002 on waste statistics

Commission Regulation (EC) No 782/2005 of 24 May 2005 setting out the format for the transmission of results on waste statistics

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1445/2005 of 5 September 2005 defining the proper quality evaluation criteria an the contents of the quality reports for waste statistics

Commission Regulation (EU) No 849/2010 of 27 September 2010 amending Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste statistics

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

There is no data sharing with other international organisations; international organisations can use the data as published in the dissemination database.

7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

The Member States are responsible for the confidentiality treatment of their data (primary and secondary). In agreement with the MS, EU aggregates are rounded to 10.000 t to hide confidential data at country level.

Confidential data is not treated; the cells appears as missing with a confidentiality flag.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

There is no release calendar, data dissemination is explained in item 9 below.

8.2. Release calendar access

See Eurostat website, release calendar, data releases

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Data received by 30 of June, 18 months after the end of the reference period (T+18; where T = reference year), will be published two months later T+20). An update of the dataset is done in November (T+23), March (T+27) and July (T+31) of the following year.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Publications are available on the website of the Environmental Data Centre on Waste and Statistics Explained.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable (Eurostat collects the data from the Member States at an aggregate level).

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Statistics explained - Waste statistics 



10.6. Documentation on methodology

Manual for the Implementation of Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 on waste statistics: manual.

Guidance on classification of waste according to the European Waste Classification for statistical purposes (EWC-Stat): waste classification.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

The Member States describe the sources and methods in a quality report. A summary of the quality information at the European level is found in report to the European Parliament and to the Council: quality of waste statistics.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

The quality assurance is a joint responsibility of the Member States and Eurostat. The Member States conduct the data collection and describe their sources and methods in a quality report (see the link under 10.7). Eurostat can make comparisons over the countries and will discuss the issue of comparability with the countries. Concepts, classifications and formats are defined in European legislation, the countries remain free to choose the sources and methods that fit them best. A link to a summary assessment is also found under 10.7.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

See the items 10.7 and 11.1 above.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

The user needs are defined in the whereas part of the Regulation on waste statistics (EC) No 2150/2002;

Regular Community statistics on the production and management of waste from businesses and private households are required by the Community for monitoring the implementation of waste policy. This creates the basis for monitoring compliance with the principles of maximisation of recovery and safe disposal.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No systematic user satisfaction survey was conducted. Eurostat is in regular contact with the main users inside the Commission and with EEA.

12.3. Completeness

The data sets have a high level of completeness. A few data cells are confidential; this concerns mainly smaller countries. Some other data cells are missing because no proper data source was available; the countries concerned are working to make their data more complete.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

See items 10.7 and 11.1 above.

13.2. Sampling error

Due to the freedom of the countries to choose their methods, sampling methods were used by some countries in some parts of the reporting tables. An overall assessment is not possible, for the assessment at country level look into the documents referred to in 10.7.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Due to the freedom of the countries to choose their methods the non-sampling errors are difficult to summarise at the European level. For the assessment at country level look into the documents referred to in 10.7.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Within two years after the reference period.

14.2. Punctuality

The Member States have to deliver the data within 18 months after the end of the reference period. Most countries do respect this deadline, some countries deliver with a small delay. In a few cases the delay is over two months. In such cases Eurostat will propose an estimation of the country data to be able to produce European totals.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Due to the common definitions and classifications the comparability over the countries is good.

In the information on the treatment of waste the distinction between incineration with and without energy recovery has been unclear. In the data from reference period 2008 onwards the distinction is based on the energy efficiency of the process. This will improve the comparability of this element.

15.2. Comparability - over time

The data is comparable over time unless otherwise stated. A break in series flag will be applied to indicate significant changes in methods.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

The use of statistical units and the NACE classification of economic activities makes the waste domain coherent with economic statistics. This allows the computation of indicators based on economic variables (e.g. value added).

15.4. Coherence - internal

The data are to a high degree internally coherent (totals are equal to the sum of the breakdowns).

The information on the generation of waste can not be directly linked to the information on the treatment of waste for several reasons. The generation of waste concerns the waste produced in the country, the treatment of waste the waste treated in the country, so differences can occur due to import and export of waste. Moreover, the generation of waste includes the waste produced by waste treatment activities (sorting, composting, incineration), whereas the treatment table only includes the final treatment. Waste treatment is a process which takes time and in the meanwhile some of the weight might be lost (drying). In short, the two components of waste statistics, generation and treatment, will be equal rather by coincidence.

16. Cost and Burden Top

The overall cost and burden is difficult to assess due to the different data collection methods applied by the Member States. See the documents mentioned under 10.7.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

All data are supposed to be final unless indicated as provisional. Correction of errors is possible.

Data revision calendar: November (T+23), March (T+27) and July (T+31).

17.2. Data revision - practice

The published data should be regarded as final, unless otherwise stated. Corrections and revisions might occur. Important corrections will be explained in the summary methodology.

Major changes in the methods will be the result of legislation, and therefore announced in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The Member States are free to decide on the data collection methods. The general options are: surveys, administrative sources, statistical estimations or some combination of methods. The Member States describe the sources and methods in the quality reports.

18.2. Frequency of data collection


18.3. Data collection

The original data is collected by the Member States and then forwarded to Eurostat. Member States collect data from administrative sources and in many cases conduct business surveys on waste generation stratified by NACE activity. The survey method and sampling strategy varies from country to country (paper questionnaire, web questionnaire, CATI, etc.).

18.4. Data validation

Data validation is done by Eurostat in close cooperation with Member States' competent authorities.

Certain data format checks are carried out during the data entry into the webform. The validation routines at Eurostat include checks related to consistency, plausibility, development over time and clarification requests sent to countries in case of observations.

Methodology reports from countries are consulted during the validation process. In case of revision of data the Member State transmit a new web-form.

18.5. Data compilation

The European aggregates are calculated by adding up the national waste amounts. EU aggregates are compiled when the available countries represent 60% of the population and 55% of the number of countries defining the aggregate; data for missing countries are estimated on the basis of the previous year.

For the calculation of kilogram per capita the national amounts of waste generated and treated are divided by the average population of the relevant year.

The average population for the calculation of kg per capita is taken from the table "Demographic balance and crude rates" (demo_gind, indic_de=AVG) in Eurobase.

18.6. Adjustment

The data are not adjusted; they are rounded to thousands of tonnes, or kilograms per person respectively.

19. Comment Top

Next to the data collected in the generation and treatment of waste in the framework of the Regulation on waste statistics, two other data collections on waste have to be mentioned. One is data on the generation and treatment of municipal waste. For this data a time series exist with annual data from 1995 onwards. For the comparability with the concept of waste generated by households see point 15.1 comparability.

The other collection of waste data concerns information for the monitoring of the effectiveness of certain waste Directives (for instance on packaging waste, end-of-life vehicles and electronic waste).

Related metadata Top

Annexes Top
Description of changes introduced between reference years 2008 and 2010
List of changes in annex I and II between reference years 2008 and 2010
List of changes in annex III between reference years 2008 and 2010