What do we see?
The majority of the waste collected in Flanders in 2019 was then recycled. Recycling is used to process 50% of the collected waste. The rest of the waste is mostly incinerated and just a small amount is sent to landfill. This indicator shows that the percentage of waste recycled has remained fairly constant over the years, without any obvious improvements to waste management. This is then due to the collection of municipal solid waste. Sorted collection is a crucial step of recycling and in Flanders only 55% of the waste is sorted for collection. However, most of that waste is then recycled. Waste collection is therefore a crucial element for better waste management.
What’s the aim?
The European Commission’s Waste Framework Directive has defined a hierarchy to be used as a guideline for waste processing. In this hierarchy, reuse and waste prevention are at the top, and recycling is considered the next best option. In a circular economy, we need to use, reuse and recycle materials as much as possible to avoid serviceable materials being destroyed and in order to preserve the value of materials as long as possible. Only when materials can no longer be recycled can they be incinerated with energy recovery. Landfilling waste is the absolute last resort.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator shows how much municipal solid waste is processed in Flanders. The data was provided by OVAM. It is important to note that the amount of waste reported as ‘recycled’ is in fact the amount of waste put out for recycling. There is little information about the actual output of that recycling process.