On the basis of the treatment operations defined in the Waste Framework Directive a distinction is made between a number of treatment types (with associated codes):

  • Operation No. 1: Energy recovery: R1
  • Operation No. 2: Incineration without energy recovery: D10;
  • Operation No. 3a: Recovery (excluding energy recovery and backfilling): R2 to R11 (excl. backfilling)*;
  • Operation No. 3b: Backfilling*; (see guidance document on backfilling)
  • Operation No. 4: Deposit onto or into land: D1, D5, D12;
  • Operation No. 5: Land treatment and release into water bodies: D2, D3, D4, D6, D7.

*Note that the data until 2008 were collected differently from the above listing.

The changes due to the revision of the WStatR were as follows:

  • Operations 3a / 3b: No differentiation of backfilling, i.e. the operations 3a and 3b were reported together under the category Recovery other than energy recovery.
  • Operation No. 4 / 5: The categories D3 and D4 were reported under operation 4 instead of operation 5")

However, the management section of this webpage is organised by the following more general categories:

  • Recovery (excluding energy recovery) (Operations 3a and 3b)
  • Incineration (Operations 1 and 2)
  • Disposal (Operations 4 and 5)


There is a substantial quantity of data reported by the Waste Statistics Regulation (WStatR).  So data relating to different waste treatment operations is given on the following separate pages:

Recovery (excluding energy recovery)

Recovery means any operation the principal result of which is waste serving a useful purpose by replacing other materials which would otherwise have been used to fulfil a particular function, or waste being prepared to fulfil that function, in the plant or in the wider economy.


The European Union (EU) has introduced measures to prevent or reduce air, water and soil pollution caused by the incineration or co-incineration of waste, as well as the resulting risk to human health. These measures specifically require a permit be obtained for incineration and co-incineration plants, and emission limits for certain pollutants released to air or to water.


Disposal means any operation which is not recovery even where the operation has as a secondary consequence the reclamation of substances or energy.

In addition to data on the quantities of waste treated, the type and number of treatment facilities in each Member State is recorded.

 Treatment of waste, by country, year, treatment type, waste category and hazardousness, in tonnes

The time series starts in 2004.