Bulgaria Ranks Fifth in the EU for Waste Generation

Society | October 8, 2019, Tuesday // 18:47|  views


Bulgaria ranks fifth in the European Union for garbage generation, Eurostat statistics show.

The latest European Community statistics on trash generated in the community is from 2016. Eurostat will submit a new analysis in November. By 2016, the total waste generated by the Union from all economic activities and households amounts to 2 538 million tonnes.

Logically, the total amount of waste generated is to a certain extent related to the size of the population of a country and the development of its economy. According to statistics, the smallest Member States of the Community report the lowest levels of waste production and the larger ones - the highest. Nevertheless, relatively large quantities of garbage are generated in Bulgaria and Romania compared to the developed economic and demographic Italy, for example.

The EU's population per capita accounts for nearly 5,000 kilograms of garbage production, while in Bulgaria the figure is around 17,000 kilograms per capita, ranking fifth in the EU. Finland is ranked at the top with over 22,000 kilograms of trash per citizen, which is more than 4 times the total amount of trash per capita in the EU.

The least waste is generated by the Republic of Northern Macedonia, although it is not a member state - only about 688 kilograms per person per year.

Various economic activities also generate certain parts of the total mass of waste, with construction generating 36.4% of it, followed by quarrying from quarrying - 25.3%, production - 10.3%, waste and water treatment services - 10%. Household waste generates only 8.5% of all in the EU, and the remnants of other economic activities such as services and energy production supplement the total EU-generated waste.

Some EU Member States generate more construction waste than others, who in turn report garbage generated from the extraction of aggregates. Almost two-thirds - or 64% - of the total waste of the EU Member States in 2016 is mainly mineral waste - that is to say, from extraction of materials.

Traditionally, countries that generate more waste have a higher share of quarrying activities. Such countries are Bulgaria, Sweden, Romania and Finland; such as Luxembourg (construction and demolition), and Liechtenstein, which until recently has generated over 91% of its waste due to construction or other construction-related activities.

Excluding construction waste from the total mass, in 2016, 905 million tonnes of waste was generated throughout the European Union. According to this indicator, Cyprus and Croatia (0.8 tons per capita) and Estonia (9.0 tons per capita) generated the least waste. In Estonia, however, oil shale (quarry residue) is the largest share of rubbish.

A total of 100 million tonnes is the hazardous waste generated throughout the year by all countries in the Union. Eurostat statistics show that in 2016 the produced  hazardous waste was with almost 5% more compared to 2010.

In this part of the ranking Bulgaria is at the top, producing almost 40% of the total share of hazardous waste. The country is followed by Serbia with 35.2% due to the intensive activity in extraction of materials, Montenegro with 19.4% and Norway with 14.6%.

The EU eliminates waste in two ways - dispose of it and recycle it. For example, the amount of the recycled waste, including that incinerated through energy recovery, increased by 24.7% from 960 million tonnes in 2014 to 1 198 million tonnes in 2016.

In 2016, more than half - over 53% of the waste - was recycled. The remaining 47% are either burned without the use of energy or landfilled.

There are also significant differences between EU countries in how they handle their garbage. For example, some countries have very high recycling rates - for example, Italy and Belgium, others - such as Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Finland and Sweden have chosen to dispose of their waste.

A total of 76.8 million tonnes of hazardous waste were treated during the period, with more than half of them being treated in only three EU Member States - Germany (28%), Bulgaria (17.2%) and Estonia (12.5 %).

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Tags: eurostat, waste, disposal, hazardous, recycled, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania


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