Back Half a tonne of municipal waste generated per person in the EU


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Almost 225 million tonnes of municipal waste was generated in the EU in 2019. This corresponds to 502 kg per person, a small increase compared with 2018 (495 kg), although down from the peak in 2008 (518 kg).

At 844 kg, Denmark generated the most municipal waste per person among the EU Member States in 2019. Other countries that generated more than 600 kg of municipal waste per person were Luxembourg (791 kg), Malta (694 kg), Cyprus (642 kg) and Germany (609 kg). 

At the other end of the scale, Romania generated 280 kg of municipal waste per person in 2019. Three further EU Member States also generated less than 400 kg per person: Poland (336 kg), Estonia (369 kg) and Hungary (387 kg).

Municipal waste generated in 2019

Source dataset: env_wasmun


Recycling and incineration on the increase, landfill on the decrease

The amount of recycled waste reached new highs in 2019. Over the past years, the amount of waste recycled (material recycling and composting) almost tripled from 37 million tonnes (87 kg per person) in 1995 to 107 million tonnes (239 kg per person) in 2019. 

Since 1995, the amount of municipal waste incinerated in the EU has doubled from 30 million tonnes (70 kg per person) to 60 million tonnes (134 kg per person) in 2019.

Although slightly more waste is being generated, the total amount of municipal waste landfilled in the EU has more than halved since 1995: from 121 million tonnes (286 kg per person) in 1995 to 54 million tonnes (120 kg per person) in 2019.  


Municipal waste treatment, 1995 - 2019

Source dataset: env_wasmun

For more information, you can read the Statistics Explained article on municipal waste or take a look at the dedicated section of waste statistics and more generally of environment statistics


Note: 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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