Management of waste by waste management operations and type of material - Sankey diagram data (env_wassd)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, 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, Statistical Office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

E2: Environmental statistics and accounts; sustainable development

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

e-mail contact:

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 10/12/2018
2.2. Metadata last posted 10/12/2018
2.3. Metadata last update 25/03/2019

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The Sankey diagrams show the flows of materials as they pass through the EU economy and are eventually discharged back into the environment or re-fed into the economic processing.

In this dataset, flows of waste are approximated using European waste statistics collected under Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002

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 treatment types: Recovery (recycling – RCV_R; backfilling – RCV_B) and Disposal (incineration – DSP_I; landfill – DSP_L; Other – DSP_OTH). These treatment operations can be broken down by four main material categories as defined and applied in economy-wide material flow accounts (EW-MFA), namely biomass, metal ores, non-metallic minerals and fossil energy materials/carriers. 

3.2. Classification system

The data set is broken down in waste management operations and type of material.

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

  • Recovery – recycling and backfilling (RCV_R_B): operations R2 to R11;
  • Recovery – energy recovery (RCV_E): Operation R1;
  • Recovery – backfilling (RCV_B)
  • Recovery – recycling (RCV_R)
  • Disposal –  incineration (DSP_I): D10
  • Disposal –  landfill (DSP_L): Operations D1, D5, D12
  • Disposal – other (DSP_OTH): Operations D2, D3, D4, D6, D7
  • Disposal – landfill and other (DSP_L_OTH): Operations D1-D7, D12

The data set env_wastrt contains a breakdown into 51 waste categories according to the European Waste Classification for statistical purposes: EWC-Stat. To avoid double counting or counting waste not included in domestic extraction, the following waste categories have not been included in the calculation of the Sankey diagram flows, regarding the treatment category disposal:

  • Sludges and liquid wastes from waste treatment (W033)
  • Animal faeces, urine and manure (W093)
  • Soils (W126)
  • Dredging spoils (W127).
  • Mineral wastes from waste treatment and stabilised wastes (W128_13).

The data have been also broken down by four main material categories as defined and applied in economy-wide material flow accounts (EW-MFA), namely biomass, metal ores, non-metallic minerals and fossil energy materials/carriers (see factors of correspondence). 

3.3. Coverage - sector

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.

The creation of the data set requires the correspondence of waste codes to the four material flows MF1 to MF4.

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

All waste treated within the borders of a country (consequently excluding exports and including imports of waste).

3.7. Reference area

Data are presented for all EU Member States.

EU aggregate is also available.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Presented time series starts in 2010. 

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measure Top
  • Million tonnes (Mt)
  • Gigatonnes (Gt)
  • Tonnes per capita

5. Reference Period Top

Calendar 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 appear 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

No particular provisions.

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 are up-dated and disseminated at least once every second year when data on waste treatment becomes available.

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

Not available.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Commission Staff Working Document. Measuring progress towards circular economy in the European Union – Key indicators for a monitoring framework.

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

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Eurostat's online database Management of waste by waste management operations and type of material-Sankey diagram data (env_wassd).

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

Eurostat, Statistics explained: Waste statistics

Eurostat, Environmental Data Centre on Waste

Eurostat, Environment Publications

10.6. Documentation on methodology

Detailed information on the methodology is planned to be documented in a methodological report.

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 item 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 users include policy makers in environmental ministries, environmental organisations, researchers, students and interested citizens.

The circular economy aims at increasing the amount of material recovered and fed back into the economy, therefore reducing the generation of waste and limiting the extraction of primary raw materials.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Not available.

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.

In case of missing data, Eurostat gap-fills the missing information. Since data are only available only every second year, Eurostat has also estimated data for the missing odd years. 

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

Not available.

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

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

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

Not applicable.

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 cannot 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 cost and burden are low due to the level of automation.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Eurostat publishes the complete time series, which may lead to revisions of data previously published.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Not applicable.

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 tonne per capita the data in tonnes are divided by the average population of the relevant year (AVG). The average population is taken from the table 'Population change - Demographic balance and crude rates at national level' (demo_gind).

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.

19. Comment Top


Eurostat Copyright/Licence Policy is applicable.

Related metadata Top
ext_go_agg_esms - International trade in goods (ext_go_agg)
env_ac_cur_esms - Circular material use rate
env_wasgt_esms - Waste generation and treatment

Annexes Top
List of CN-codes used for indicator calculation