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Waste and material resources

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Waste is a pressing environmental, social and economic issue. Increasing consumption and a developing economy continue to generate large amounts of waste - with more effort required to reduce and prevent it. While waste was viewed as disposable in the past, today it is increasingly recognised as a resource; this is reflected in the waste management shift away from disposal towards recycling and recovery. More

Key facts and messages
The number of countries recycling and composting more than 30% of municipal waste increased from 11 to 17 out of 35, and those landfilling more than 75% of their municipal waste declined from 11 to 8. more
Generation of municipal waste per capita has declined slightly from 2004 to 2012, but it is clearly better managed now than ten years ago. more
The large differences in performance indicate room for further improvement and actions to meet the 2020 target to recycle 50% of municipal waste. more
Guided by diverse policies, European countries have improved waste management. Manufacturing and service sector waste declined by about a quarter in 2004–2012, while municipal waste generation fell 2%. Along with increased recycling, these... more

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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