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 on municipal waste by waste operations (env_wasmun) can be found here.

Metadata (indicator profile) can be found here.

Country specific notes explain particular features and breaks in indicator data time series.

Guidance on municipal waste data collection

For more data on municipal waste, see ‘Key Waste Streams’.

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Municipal waste

EU Sustainable Development Strategy - 2015 monitoring report