Friday, January 21, 2011

Waste and recycling in EU - Quick facts

Despite the notable improvement in some EU countries the overall conclusion is that the EU waste is still piling up, which means that EU will have to put more efforts into the recycling solutions.

France, Sweden, Romania and Poland are EU countries which have managed to drastically reduce the amount of waste generation.

In the period between the 2006 and 2008 EU-27 has managed to decrease its waste generation by more than 10%.

The recycling rates between EU countries vary significantly, in fact in some EU countries they are only 3-4% while in other they are even above 70%.

The good news is that overall recycling rates are increasing in EU, the current recycling levels rates for the entire EU are estimated to be around 39%, which is more than 5% increase compared to the levels in 2005.

Municipal waste is not the fastest growing type of waste in EU, the fastest growing waste in EU comes from different electronics such as mobile phones (growing three times more fast compared to municipal waste).

The current levels of municipal waste in EU are at around 524 kg per person.

EU needs more recycling because recycling not only cleans environment, it also helps decrease the level of greenhouse gas emissions, and it can also create many new jobs.

According to the EU's Waste Framework Directive (WFD) EU countries need to meet a 50% target for recycling of municipal waste comprising paper, metal, plastic and glass, and also a 70% target for construction and demolition waste by 2020.

Each EU member state is obliged to draw up specific waste management plans after analyzing their current waste management situations in order to come up with the best possible solution.

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