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.