The United Kingdom landfills more municipal waste than the European Unions average rate according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Results showed that the UK still heavily relies on landfill to deal with its waste, using this method for 55% of its waste in 2008. The average rate for landfilling in the EU27 is 40%. Germany and the Netherlands landfill the least waste, at only 1% while Bulgaria sends all its waste to landfill.
Furthermore, with an incineration rate of 10% and composting rate of 12% the UK lags behind its counterparts in the EU27. In fact, the average EU incineration rate is double that of the UK at 20% and the composting rate is 17%.
The UKs 23% recycling rate for municipal equals Europes average. The Republic of Ireland was among the member states with the highest recycling rates - coming third with the Netherlands at 32%. Germany came top with a recycling rate of 48%, while Belgium and Sweden both recycled 35% in 2008.
Eurostat found that, although the average amount of waste generated remained virtually unchanged from 2007 - producing 525kg per person - the amount of municipal waste per person varied across Member States. Ireland was among the group of countries generating more than 700kg of waste per person, along with Denmark, Cyprus and Luxembourg. The UK produced 565kg of waste per person in 2008. The lowest values of waste per person were in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland , Romania and Slovakia, all generating less than 400kg per person.
Between 60% and 70% of municipal waste was recycled or composted in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.