European Union Sets Goal For Reducing Waste by 2030

In a series of new goals for reducing waste, the European Parliament agreed that by 2030, EU nations should recycle or reuse 50 percent of household garbage and 70 percent of waste from building and demolition. The proposal, which awaits member state approval, lays out guidelines for waste reduction, starting with shrinking the waste produced and followed by reusing containers, recycling what cannot be reused, regaining the energy contained in the trash and, as a last resort, dumping in landfills. More than 1.8 billion tons of waste are produced annually in Europe, and less than a third is currently recycled, with landfill dumping in some member states reaching 90 percent. Overall, in 2005, 49 percent of Europe’s municipal waste went into landfills, 18 percent was incinerated, and 27 percent was recycled or composted.