Production of household waste

Household waste is all waste that is collected by the municipalities or intermunicipal authorities. It includes not only waste from households but also industrial waste that is comparable in terms of its nature, composition and quantity. It also only covers waste collected by municipalities and not by other private sector waste collectors.

477.2 kg/cap

  • In 2019 the total amount of household waste decreased by 45 kg per capita compared to 2013.
  • In 2018 the decrease in total waste production was greater than the household budget, which indicates decoupling.

What do we see?

The amount of household waste in Flanders has been decreasing since 2008. In 2019 the total amount of household waste had decreased by 45 kg per inhabitant, or 181 kt, compared to 2013. In the period between 2013 and 2017, we see a declining trend for both selectively collected waste and residual waste.

In 2019 we observe an increase in the total amount of household waste. This can be explained by an increase in the selective collection of wood waste, construction and demolition waste, green waste, PMD (plastic, metal and drink cartons), and organic waste. During the same period, the amount of residual waste did continue to fall.



In 2018 the total production of waste decreased more than the household budget, which indicates decoupling. It is worth noting that the 2014 decoupling index was relatively high because the amount of waste had fallen significantly. This was mainly due to a reduction in collected construction and demolition waste.

As can be seen in the graph below, there is no data for the odd-numbered years. This is because Statbel does not carry out household budget surveys in these years.



All member states of the European Union have to report the total quantities (per inhabitant) of household waste produced and processed (excl. construction and demolition waste). The graph below shows the amount of household waste per member state. In Flanders, 423 kg per person was collected in 2019.



What’s the aim?

In a circular economy we aim to reduce the production of household waste. This means giving more materials and products a new lease of life, consuming more consciously or repairing more products. Reducing the mountain of waste is therefore an important objective if we want to move away from the linear economic model.

What does this indicator measure?

To compare the relationship between household waste production and the economic reality, it’s interesting to map out the real evolution of spending by Flemish households. 

This evolution is estimated by bringing the nominal spending of Flemish households (from the household budget survey) in line with the consumer price index in Belgium. According to the implementation plan for household waste and comparable industrial waste, the decoupling between spending and the total amount of household waste, including the comparable industrial waste, must continue relative to 2012.

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