EEA report: Highest recycling rates in Austria and Germany – but UK and Ireland show fastest increase

22 March 2013

Austria, Germany and Belgium recycled the largest proportion of municipal waste in Europe in 2010. Although some countries have rapidly increased recycling rates, Europe is still wasting vast quantities of valuable resources by sending them to landfill, and many countries risk falling short of legally binding recycling targets.
Overall 35% of municipal waste was recycled in Europe in 2010, a significant improvement on 23% in 2001. But many countries will find it extremely difficult to meet EU-mandated targets to recycle 50 % of household and similar waste by 2020. The information comes from a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which looks at the management of municipal solid waste, mainly consisting of household waste, in 27 EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey.
Recycling rates are highest in Austria, with 63%, followed by Germany (62%), Belgium (58%), the Netherlands (51%) and Switzerland (51%). Alongside the main report, the EEA has also published individual country reports (News Release European Environment Agency, 19 March 2013).