EU Report: Waste Management Performance of EU Member States

A new report on how Member States manage their municipal waste shows startling differences across the EU.

The report grades the 27 Member States against 18 criteria, using green, orange and red flags in areas such as total waste recycled, pricing of waste disposal, and infringements of European legislation.

The resulting scoreboard forms part of an on-going study, the objective of which is to help Member States improve their waste management performance.

  • Top of the table are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden, none of which have more than 2 red flags.
  • Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia have the largest implementation gaps.
  • Failings include poor or non-existent waste prevention policies, a lack of incentives to divert waste from landfills, and inadequate waste infrastructure.

The Commission is using this report to prepare Roadmaps for the ten worst performing Member States.

  • The Roadmaps will contain tailor-made recommendations on how to improve waste management using economic, legal and administrative tools, and EU structural funds.
  • The Commission is looking to use EU structural funds with a greater focus on the objectives of EU waste policy and to ensure that EU money is only invested in waste management projects if certain conditions are met beforehand, including the development of Waste Management Plans in accordance with the Waste Framework Directive and with the waste hierarchy, favouring prevention, reuse and recycling over incineration with energy recovery, with landfilling or incineration without energy recovery as a last resort.

The study estimates that full implementation of EU waste legislation would save €72 billion a year, increase the annual turnover of the EU waste management and recycling sector by €42 billion and create over 400,000 jobs by 2020.

Screening of Waste Management Performance of EU Member States Report 

European Commission Press Room