Incinerated, co-incinerated and landfill waste of Flemish origin

Flanders aims to incinerate or send to landfill as little household and industrial waste as possible. Yet there are still waste streams where there is no other solution. In that case, the preference is to incinerate the waste. Only if that is not possible is it sent to landfill.

4.44 million tonnes

  • The amount of incinerated, co-incinerated or landfill waste has remained relatively stable in Flanders since 2012.
  • Of the total amount of waste produced in Flanders, approximately 20% is incinerated, co-incinerated or sent to landfill.

What do we see?

As the graph below illustrates, the amount of Flemish waste that is incinerated, co-incinerated or sent to landfill has remained relatively stable since 2012.



To find out how much of the total amount of waste produced is ultimately incinerated or sent to landfill, we can take 2016 as an example. In that year, an estimated 3.2 million tonnes of household waste and 15.7 million tonnes of primary industrial waste were produced in Flanders. About 4.25 million tonnes of this was incinerated, co-incinerated or sent to landfill. For Europe as a whole, this figure is higher, with an average of 53% of waste being incinerated or sent to landfill. 

What’s the aim?

Material that is (co-)incinerated or sent to landfill is also known as leakage. We should prevent this as much as possible to avoid losing valuable raw materials. Landfill materials can no longer be used, unless they are mined and reused in the future. The functionality of incinerated materials is therefore limited to energy recovery and the possible use of incineration ashes.

The current Flemish government is aiming to gradually phase out waste incineration, without this leading to more waste being sent to landfill. In addition, Flanders also wants to stimulate the reuse of raw materials from landfills and has included this as an objective in the Flemish Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030.

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator calculates the amount of incinerated, co-incinerated and landfill household and industrial waste of Flemish origin that is processed here or elsewhere.

To calculate how much waste is incinerated or sent to landfill in Flanders, we use the weight of the waste supplied to incineration plants and landfills. These figures are provided by the site owners. Using environmental taxes, we then estimate the amount of Flemish waste that is co-incinerated within Flanders or processed elsewhere.

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Production of household waste
416 kg/cap

Production of household waste

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Production of residual household waste
128 kg/cap

Production of residual household waste

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Production of primary industrial waste
13,999 kilotonnes

Production of primary industrial waste

This indicator shows the production of waste generated by the original waste producers.
Production of primary industrial residual waste
872 kilotonnes

Production of primary industrial residual waste

Primary industrial residual waste is the part of primary industrial waste that is offered or collected non-selectively, and is...
Littering and fly-tipping
29.5 kt of fly-tipping

Littering and fly-tipping

Littering is when people leave behind, consciously or unconsciously, smaller items of waste (e.g. tissues, bits of paper…) in...
Territorial emissions
73.4 Mt CO₂-eq

Territorial emissions

This indicator shows the production of emissions contributing to climate change.