Management of waste excluding major mineral waste, by waste management operations (env_wasoper)

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

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 17/05/2021
2.2. Metadata last posted 17/05/2021
2.3. Metadata last update 17/05/2021

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 treatment is broken down to six treatment types (recycling, backfilling, incineration with energy recovery, other incineration, disposal on land and land treatment and other disposal). All values are measured in tonnes of waste.

The waste management indicator set aims at showing how much of a country’s or of the EU’s own waste (in the following referred to as national waste) excluding major mineral waste is actually recycled, incinerated (with energy recovery and without), landfilled or backfilled. This means that the waste management indicator should reflect the treatment of national waste, no matter where it takes place, and it should exclude the waste imported, this means on EU level only imports from non-EU countries are excluded, on Member State level imports from other EU-Countries and from outside the EU are excluded. 

Thus for the compilation of a waste management indicator data, which is collected under the Waste Statistic Regulation, is to be adjusted with data for imports and exports from International trade in goods statistics (ITGS). The imports and exports of goods (and wastes) are reported according to the Combined Nomenclature (CN-codes). The data are available from Eurostat's COMEXT database, which includes detailed statistics on the intra- and extra-trading in goods of all EU Member States.  ITGS published by Eurostat quantifies the value and quantity of goods traded between the EU Member States (intra-EU trade) and goods traded by the EU Member States with non-EU countries (extra-EU trade). ‘Goods’ means all movable property.

The CN codes relating to import or export of waste are selected and assigned to one of the treatment types according to the predominant kind of treatment for this kind of waste in the receiving country. A list with these CN codes and their assignment to treatment type is annexed to this Metadatasheet. Member States were asked whether the data and the assignment was plausible. In case of inconsistencies Member States were asked for a different assignment; they could as well provide data, in case it was in their opinion more suitable than the COMEXT data (this was 2010, 2012, 2014  and 2016 the case for Denmark, Croatia, Cyprus, Italy, Latvia, Malta, The Netherlands,  Portugal, Romania and Slovakia. For 2018 these countries sent again own data, with the exception of The Netherlands and Romania. Also Slovenia and Luxemburg sent own data. Sweden and Austria  corrected some of the COMEXT data, Sweden adjusted the treatment categories for some wastes, Finland had more precise data, which they collected directly from the customs. see also 15.1).

3.2. Classification system

The data set is broken down into the type of treatment.

Treatment types

On the basis of the treatment operations defined in Annexes 2 a and 2 b of the Directive 2008/98/EC on waste a distinction is made in six treatment types:

Recovery - recycling - RCV_R

Recovery - energy recovery (R1) - RCV_E

Recovery - backfilling - RCV_B

Disposal - incineration (D10) - DSP_I

Disposal - landfill (D1, D5, D12) - DSP_L

Disposal - other (D2-D4, D6-D7) - DSP_OTH


Only Waste without mineral waste is taken into account (TOT_X_MIN)

The tables are available at national level.

3.3. Coverage - sector

The indicator covers hazardous (hz) and non-hazardous (nh) waste from all economic sectors and from households, including waste from waste treatment (secondary waste) but excluding major mineral wastes  and waste going into pre-treatment activities (like sorting, drying). It covers only waste from final treatment.

The indicator covers all wastes except 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).

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

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

Trade balance (BAL_TRD): Exports - Imports of waste (EXP - IMP)

Net Flow (FLOW_NET): Gross Flow + Trade Balance (FLOW_GRS + BAL_TRD)

Actually Net Flow (FLOW_NET) equals Gross Flow + Trade Balance (FLOW_GRS + BAL_TRD) + Left-over waste from t-1 -Waste stored and treated in t+x, (x= 1,2,3...n). In seldom cases this can lead to a negative Net Flow for a treatment category. (e.g. Cyprus RCV_E and DSP_I 2016)

The trade_data for EU aggregate cover only data on trade with non-EU countries (extra EU trade), data referring to EU Member States include both intra and extra EU trade data.

Gross Flow (FLOW_GRS): National treated waste (source: env-wastrt)

3.5. Statistical unit

Amount of waste.

3.6. Statistical population

All waste generated within a country (within EU) and finally treated (within and outside the respective country) excluding major mineral wastes.

3.7. Reference area

EU (EU-27_2020) aggregate and national data.

3.8. Coverage - Time

2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, biennial.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top

1) Tonnes.

2) Percent of total treated waste excluding major mineral wastes.

5. Reference Period Top

Calendar years.

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.

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Data on reference year X first released in X+20 months.

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


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 dedicated website on Waste.

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

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.

Guidance on Foreign Trade Statistics User guide on European statistics on international trade in goods

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. Although the concepts, the classifications and the formats are clearly defined, 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.

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 2 months. In such cases Eurostat will propose an imputation 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 fairly high. Some problems remain where countries have not used statistical units to link to the economic activities that generate the waste.

Member States  could as well provide data for waste import and export, in case it was in their opinion more suitable than the COMEXT data (this was 2010,2012, 2014 and 2016 the case for  Denmark, Croatia, Cyprus, Italy, Latvia, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia.

For 2018 these countries sent again own data, with the exception of The Netherlands and Romania. Also Slovenia and Luxemburg sent own data. Sweden and Austria corrected some of the COMEXT data, Sweden adjusted the treatment categories for some wastes, Finland had more precise data, which they collected directly from the customs.

In the data the distinction between incineration with and without energy recovery is based on the energy efficiency of the process

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

As far as possible the same concepts are used for waste statistics.

15.4. Coherence - internal

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

16. Cost and Burden Top

These data create no additional burden on data providers as the calculations are based on data, which is already published in official statistics.

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.

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

Waste Statistics: Biennial.

COMEXT: Monthly.

18.3. Data collection

The original data collection is carried out by the Member States, Eurostat collects the data only indirectly. 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

Eurostat validates national data in cooperation with the Member States. All data are approved by the Member States unless the value is indicated as an estimate (flag e).

18.5. Data compilation

The European aggregates are calculated as the sum over the Member States.

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.

19. Comment Top

Waste Statistics Regulation data is collected by national administrations and covers only waste and waste streams within a country. However, efficient waste management may require the treatment of waste outside the generating country and hence result in the export and import of waste. The reasons for exporting waste are various, e.g.

  • economies of scale. Treatment plants need a minimum waste flow to be operated cost-efficiently. Consequently, it may make more sense for small countries or for border-zone areas to export waste instead of running such plants themselves.
  • market-driven imports and exports of recyclable wastes (metals, paper, plastics, glass). These are often dependant on the existence of the respective industries (metal industry, paper mills, etc.) that are in demand for these materials.

The missing information about exports and imports of waste may lead to a distorted picture when it comes to recycling quotas or landfill quotas. In order to regard such cross border treatment the waste management indicator set (WMI) was developed. The waste management indicator set allows measuring how the waste that is generated in the EU and in Member States is finally treated, in the EU/in MS or abroad.

Related metadata Top
cei_wm010_esmsip2 - Recycling rate of all waste excluding major mineral waste
t2020_rt110_esmsip2 - Landfill rate of waste excluding major mineral wastes
sdg_12_60_esmsip2 - Recycling rate of waste excluding major mineral wastes

Annexes Top
CN codes and their attribution to treatment categories for the years 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016
CN codes and their attribution to treatment categories for the year 2018