Skip to main content
Knowledge for policy

Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Dataset | 16 October 2015

Treatment of waste by waste category, hazardousness and waste operations

Bioeconomy

Data on treatment broken down by type of waste and treatment operation, defined in the Waste Framework Directive 75/442/EEC. Distinction is made in five treatment types:

  • Recovery (excluding energy recovery)
  • Energy recovery
  • Incineration
  • Disposal on land
  • Land treatment/release into water

All values are measured in tonnes of waste and in kg per capita, based on the annual average of the population. The data sets on waste generation and treatment use a breakdown into 51 categories. The database on waste treatment does not include pre-treatment activities (like sorting, drying), but only the final treatment.

The Member States are free to decide on the data collection methods. The general options are: surveys, administrative sources, statistical estimations or some combination of methods. For the first reference year 2004 Member States could apply for permission not to deliver part of the information: waste generated by agriculture and fishing and waste generated in the services sector. For this reason this information is missing for some of the countries.

The original data collection is carried out by the Member States, Eurostat collects the data only indirectly. Member States collect data from administrative sources and in many cases conduct business surveys on waste generation stratified by NACE activity. The survey method and sampling strategy varies from country to country (paper questionnaire, web questionnaire, CATI, etc.).

Due to the common definitions and classifications the comparability over the countries is fairly high. Some problems remain where countries have not used statistical units to link to the economic activities that generate the waste. Some countries cannot distinguish precisely between muncipal waste and waste generated by households. Municipal waste can also include waste generated by small businesses and offices.