Waste separation stagnating

Dutch municipalities collected 560 kg of household waste per inhabitant in 2006. Nearly half  (48 percent) of this waste was collected in separate categories. This means the target as formulated in the national waste management plan of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment was not realised. According to this target, 55 percent of waste was to be separated.

Waste separation increases only slightly

The introduction of separate collection of organic garden and kitchen waste in the beginning of the nineties provided a boost for waste separation. In addition the separation and disposal of bulky household waste at environmental  waste depots improved in this period. In 1993 only one third of waste was collected separately, while by 1996 this had already risen to 45 percent. In subsequent years, the amount of waste collected separately rose only slightly.

The increase was entirely caused by the better separation of bulky household waste, but since 2004 the proportion of bulky household waste collected separately has remained fairly constant. The proportion of “small” household waste collected separately has been constant since 1996.

Less separated waste in cities

The percentage of waste is collected separately correlates strongly with the degree of urbanisation of the municipality. The targets formulated in the national waste management plan are therefore differentiated by municipal degree of urbanisation.

In 2006 not urbanised municipalities collected 58 percent of waste separately. This puts them near the average target of 60 percent. The extremely urbanised municipalities collected only 22 percent of household waste separately, and remained far under their target of 43 percent.

Harrie Meeuwissen