Production of household waste

Household waste is all waste collected by, on behalf of or in cooperation with 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 covers only the portion of comparable industrial waste collected through the municipal circuit and therefore not by private sector waste collectors.

416 kg/cap

  • In 2022 the total amount of household waste decreased by 105 kg per capita compared to 2013.
  • In 2022 the decrease in total waste production was greater than the household budget decrease, which indicates decoupling.

What do we see?

Since 2008, the amount of household waste in Flanders has been decreasing. By 2022, the total amount of household waste had decreased by 105 kg per inhabitant, or 525 kt, compared to 2013. This decrease can be attributed to various policy initiatives taken in recent years, such as the expansion of the PMD (plastic, metal, and drink cartons) bag, the further implementation of weight-based differentiated tariffs and measures to reduce the amount of bulky waste. The sharp decrease in the amount of waste in 2022 can possibly be attributed in part to high energy prices and inflation in 2022 or to the exceptionally dry summer that resulted in less green and VGF (vegetables, fruit and garden) waste.



According to the 2016-2022 Implementation Plan, the decoupling between Flemish household expenditures and the total amount of household waste should continue compared to 2012. For this purpose, waste generation is compared to the real expenditures of Flemish households. The figure below shows that the real expenditure of Flemish households decreased in 2016 compared to the reference year 2012. The household budget data from 2016 are not comparable with the data from previous years. Thus, the trend change between 2014 and 2016 should be interpreted with caution. Since 2016, Statbel has used a new extrapolation method.



In COVID year 2020, the proportions of spending categories changed considerably. For example, spending on food and beverages, furniture, household appliances and maintenance products, among others, increased. In addition, spending on restaurants and hospitality declined in 2020. As a result, the decoupling of household waste from total spending by Flemish households did not continue. According to Statbel, the proportions of spending items recovered to 2018 proportions in 2022. Total spending, adjusted by the consumer price index, did fall compared to 2016. However, the amount of household waste decreased more than real spending. Thus, a decoupling occurs.

What’s the aim?

In a circular economy, we aim to reduce the production of household waste. After all, this means that fewer materials are consumed, that materials remain in use longer, for example through reuse or recycling, and/or that fewer new raw materials are extracted. Ideally, we aim to avoid waste completely; however, there will always remain an amount of materials that we can no longer put to good use. We strive to get this quantity as small as possible. The Household Waste and Comparable Industrial Waste Implementation Plan 2016-2022 aims for a decoupling with household budgets, which was achieved. The Local Materials Plan 2023-2030 strives for absolute decoupling: the total amount of waste in 2030 must remain at least stable at 2 376 000 tonnes (excluding construction and demolition waste and green waste apart from the VGF fraction), but should preferably decrease.

What does this indicator measure?

This indicator measures household waste production in Flanders, including comparable industrial waste collected through the municipal circuit.

To compare the relationship between household waste production and economic reality, the real evolution of Flemish household expenditure was approximated by correcting the nominal expenditure of Flemish households (taken from Statbel’s household budget survey) by the consumer price index in Belgium.

Discover more topics

Production of residual household waste
128 kg/cap

Production of residual household waste

Residual household waste is household waste that is not collected selectively. It therefore refers to general household rubbish, bulky...
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...
Incinerated, co-incinerated and landfill waste of Flemish origin
4.44 million tonnes

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...
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.