Municipal waste; quantities

What does the survey comprise?


To obtain data on the quantities of waste collected by or on behalf of municipalities, as well as data on collection and processing methods of municipal waste.

Target population

Municipalities. The data are presented in various formats, including total for the Netherlands, by province, by municipality, by size class, by degree of urbanisation.

Statistical unit


Date/year survey started

The Municipal Waste survey started in 1981, although the survey method has been adjusted a number of times since then. The current time series runs from 1993.


The survey is conducted annually.

Publication strategy

Provisional figures are published in June in the subsequent year; definite figures in December in the subsequent year. The results are published in the StatLine tables on municipal waste, quantities. In December in the subsequent year, data per municipality are also published (only in Dutch).

How is the survey conducted?

Survey type

The survey is a written survey among all Dutch municipalities. The questionnaire is drawn up in cooperation with SenterNovem Waste Management Department. Other organisations, e.g. the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment, and the provinces are also consulted.
The questionnaire contains definitions for the various waste streams generated. These definitions are drawn up by SenterNovem Waste Management Department in consultation with among others Statistics Netherlands. These definitions were published in the report Municipal waste monitor (Waste Consultation Agency, 2003).

Survey method

The questionnaire is sent to all Dutch municipalities, or in some cases to intermunicipal organisations and private municipal waste collection companies.


All Dutch municipalities, intermunicipal organisations, local private municipal waste collection companies. Statistics Netherlands also contacts shops specialised in recycled goods, and private companies for waste collection and processing for (additional) information.

Sample size

All Dutch municipalities.

Checking and correction methods

Information requested from third parties is not always available per municipality as sometimes data involve two or more municipalities, e.g. a recycling centre operated by several municipalities or collection carried out by a partnership (such as an intermunicipal organisation). In these cases data per municipality are obtained by distributing the totals over the municipalities based on the number of inhabitants.

  • In order to provide a total figure for the Netherlands, data¬† for non-responding municipalities are estimated. Also, information about one or more waste streams is sometimes missing from reports by responding municipalities. To estimate data for missing waste components an estimator is determined on the basis of the average quantity of waste per capita. Since research has shown that the quantities of waste collected depend on the degree of urbanisation of the municipalities, for each of the five urban classes an estimator is determined per waste component. Missing data are calculated with the aid of these estimators.
  • Missing data on waste collection and processing are also estimated. The processing method especially depends on the province in which the municipality is located. Therefore, an estimator is determined to estimate missing data on processing methods for each waste category and each province. A similar estimator is used for the collection method. Because waste collection is often regionally regulated, there is a correlation between the collection method and the province.


See: Checking and correction methods.

Quality of the results


Over 90 percent of the municipalities return a usable questionnaire.

Sequential comparability

There have been no major changes since 1993 and data are comparable.

Quality strategy

Statistics Netherlands carries out the usual checks for completeness and plausibility of the supplied data. Apparently incorrect or incomplete information is checked by contacting the respondent concerned.