Back 492 kg of municipal waste generated per person in the EU


© Lenscap Photography/
In the European Union (EU), the amount of municipal waste generated per person in 2018 amounted to 492 kg, down by 5% compared with its peak of 518 kg per person in 2008, and roughly comparable to the 490 kg recorded in 2017.
In total, 220 million tonnes of municipal waste was generated in the EU in 2018. Although this was slightly higher than in 2017 (218 million tonnes), it was less than in 2008 (227 million tonnes).
With 766 kg, Denmark generated the most municipal waste per person among the EU Member States in 2018. Other countries that generated more than 600 kg municipal waste per person were Malta (640 kg), Cyprus (637 kg; 2017 data), Germany (615 kg) and Luxembourg (610 kg).
At the other end of the scale, Romania generated 272 kg of municipal waste per person in 2018. Three further EU Member States also generated less than 400 kg per person: Poland (329 kg), Czechia (351 kg) and Hungary (381 kg).
Bar chart: Municipal waste generated, 2018
Data source: env_wasmun
The amount of recycled waste reached new highs in 2018, both for material recycling and for composting. Recycling of materials rose to 67 million tonnes, corresponding to 150 kg per person. This was almost three times as much as the 23 million tonnes (54 kg per person) recycled in 1995. Correspondingly, 37 million tonnes (84 kg per person) of waste were composted in 2018, more than two and a half times more than in 1995 (14 million tonnes, or 33 kg per person). 
Infographic: Recycling of municipal waste, material recycling and composting, 1995 and 2018
Data source: env_wasmun
  • For more information on the statistics available in this area, take a look at the overview of waste statistics and more generally of environment statistics
  • The European Union (EU) includes 27 EU Member States. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Further information is published here.


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