indicators

Waste-related indicators

Waste-related indicators are used to measure and track trends in waste generation and certain aspects of EU waste management. They provide information on progress towards EU policy objectives and help EU countries improve their environmental performance.

Eurostat maintains a set of EU Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicator set and resource efficiency indicators, which were established to monitor progress towards the SDGs in an EU context. 

The data for the waste-related indicators are collected in the way stipulated by the Waste Statistics Regulation or stem from voluntary collection of a small set of environmental parameters (the former OECD/Eurostat joint questionnaire on waste - municipal waste generated and treated).

Waste-related key indicators:

Indicator Data source Indicator set
Generation of waste excluding major mineral wastes Waste Statistics Regulation SDG, REI, CE
Management of waste excluding major mineral wastes (pilot data) Waste Statistics Regulation;
COMEXT (or national import/export data)
-
Material prices for recyclates COMEXT -
Municipal waste generation & treatment, by treatment method Voluntary data collection   SDG, REI, CE
Recycling rate of e-waste Data collected under WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU REI, CE

 

Generation of waste excluding major mineral wastes

The indicator shows trends in waste generation, both EU-wide and for individual EU countries. It covers both non-hazardous and hazardous waste from:

  • all sectors of the economy (production)
  • households (consumption).

It does not cover mineral wastes or soil. Over 90% of these come from the mining and construction sectors, which are subject to considerable fluctuation over time. Waste generation from which major mineral wastes are excluded reflects general trends more accurately than statistics on total waste generated.

The indicator shows the amount of waste generated annually in the EU as a whole and in individual countries, expressed in kilos per inhabitant.  It is based on data collected in the way stimulated by the Waste Statistics Regulation and is available for every second year as of reference year 2004.

The indicator is one of the EU sustainable development indicators.  It is also a resource efficiency indicator.

Data

Management of waste excluding major mineral wastes (pilot data)

Waste management indicators measure how waste generated in the EU as a whole and in individual countries is finally treated, whether in the EU / EU countries or abroad. The indicator set reflects the treatment rates of the waste produced in a given country by type of treatment. Indicators are expressed in volumes of treated waste by treatment category as a proportion of the total amount of waste treated.

The indicator covers both non-hazardous and hazardous waste from all economic sectors and from households. However, it excludes mineral wastes and soil, over 90% of which come from mining and construction.

The indicator set comprises treatment rates for the 6 treatment categories defined in the Waste Statistics Regulation:

Treatment category Code
Recovery other than energy recovery - Except backfilling (R2-R11)  RCV_O
Recovery other than energy recovery - Backfilling RCV_B
Incineration / energy recovery (R1) RCV_E
Incineration / disposal (D10)  INC
Deposit onto or into land (D1, D5, D12) DSP_D
Land treatment and release into water bodies (D2-4, D6, D7) DSP_O

 

The indicator set is based on waste treatment data, collected in the way stipulated by the Waste Statistics Regulation, that reflect the amounts of waste managed in the EU as a whole and in individual EU countries. In addition, foreign trade statistics (COMEXT data or national data on waste imports/exports) are used to show the amounts of waste exported and imported. Waste exports are added to the waste treated in the EU / in individual EU countries, while imports are deducted.

The indicator set is available for every second year after the reference year, 2010.

Data

Material prices for recyclates

The revenues from secondary materials (waste materials or recyclates) can pay for a substantial part of the total cost of waste management schemes in EU Member States. Therefore understanding how the price of recyclate changes over time is an important aspect of waste management.

Some waste materials - such as glass, paper and plastics - are covered by the Foreign Trade Statistics (FTS) in volume (tonnes) and in value (€). For each material the FTS provide data relating to differing values of material - from lower value post-consumer waste to higher priced and well defined residues from manufacturing processes. Foreign Trade Statistics are published monthly, with a delay of approx. 3.5 months. Reliable data is available from the year 2004 onwards, which was chosen as the starting point for the price indicators.

Indicators

The primary indicator presents the specific prices (€/tonne) over the total traded volume of glass, paper and plastic for all related FTS codes.

As an additional indicator the total volume (import and export) of the 3 traded waste materials is shown. This indicator (tonnes/month) shows the activity of the market and covers intra- and extra-trade in EU-28.

Tables and charts for each material can be accessed by clicking on the links below:

Glass

Paper

Plastics

Municipal waste generation & treatment, by treatment method

The municipal waste indicator shows trends in the amounts of such waste generated and the amounts recovered and disposed of through:

  • recycling & composting
  • incineration (including energy recovery)
  • landfill.

It is expressed in kilos per inhabitant and is published annually, with a time series going back to 1995.

The use of municipal waste as an indicator for waste generation and treatment has a long tradition in Europe and beyond. Municipal waste constitutes only around 10 % of total waste generated, but because of its heterogeneous composition the environmentally sound management is challenging. The way municipal waste is managed thus gives a good indication of the quality of the overall waste management system.

The municipal waste indicator is part of the EU Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicator set, which was established to monitor progress towards the SDGs in an EU context. The indicator data are also used to calculate the recycling rate of municipal waste, which is one of the resource efficiency indicators.

Data

Recycling rate of e-waste

Recycling rate of e-waste Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) poses a risk to the environment due to the presence of hazardous components, however, if recycled it has the potential to provide a source of important secondary raw materials, such as precious metals and other highly valuable materials. Therefore the indicator recycling rate of e-waste tracks the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment.

The data collected under the WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU includes volumes collected for treatment and the rate of recycling at the treatment facilities. The collection rate equals the volumes collected divided by the average sum of EEE (electrical and electronic equipment) put on the market in the previous three years. The overall e-waste recycling rate, therefore, is the collection rate multiplied by the rate of recycling at the treatment facilities, and it is assumed that the total amount of collected e-waste is indeed sent to treatment / recycling facilities.

The recycling rate of e-waste is one of the EU’s resource efficiency indicators.

Data