Recycling and composting are progressing in Europe

According to the European statistics agency, Eurostat, in the 27 members of the European Union, 40 per cent of treated municipal waste was recycled or composted in 2011, up from 27 per cent in 2001. While these are good news, let’s have a look at the official statistics.

Still to the data presented by Eurostat, a quarter of all European waste is recycled and 15 percent is composted. In comparison, the proportion of recycled and incinerated waste in the United States is of 34 percent (source: EPA). Back to the European Union, incineration accounts for 23 percent. The remaining 37 percent is sent to landfills.

The first thing that one can notice is that there are many disparities between countries.

If Austria is champion of composting with 34 percent (while recycling 28 percent of the total), some others are much less virtuous.

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