Netherlands one of the top recycling countries in Europe

The Netherlands is the joint fourth-best country for recycling in Europe, recycling 51 percent of its solid municipal waste (MSW).

EU mandate for 2020

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has revealed the extent of recycling among the 27 EU member states as well as Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey.

The report was completed in order to ascertain each country's success in reaching the EU mandate of achieving 50 percent recycling of municipal waste by 2020.

The Netherlands had already achieved this target by 2009, 11 years ahead of the deadline, and is projected to reach 60 percent recycling of household waste by 2015. The amount of waste produced per capita in the Netherlands also dropped to below 600 kilograms for the first time during the decade investigated.

Improvement in continent-wide recycling

Significant improvements in the proportion of waste recycled across Europe has been noted by the EEA during the period of investigation. Between 2001 and 2010, the percentage of municipal waste recycled rose from 21 percent to 35 percent.

However, the report notes the stern task ahead for countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, who will have to achieve unheard-of annual improvements in order to reach the legally-binding EU mandate.

Top Recycling Countries in Europe

  Austria (63%)
  Germany (62%)
  Belgium (58%)
  Netherlands (51%)
  Switzerland (51%)

Source: European Environment Agency

Mark McDaid


Mark McDaid

Mark hails from the Emerald Isle but has been living in the land of cheese and deep-fried-indiscriminate-meat since February 2009. He can often be found trying to read through a...

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