586kg of municipal waste per Irish person in 2013

Each person in Ireland created 586kg of municipal waste in 2013, according to the latest Eurostat figures. 531kg of this was treated in the following ways: 34% was recycled, 42% was landfilled, 18% was incinerated and 6% was composted. Ireland’s waste generation is above the EU average of 481kg for the same period, but ranks as a medium waste producing country, against the highest producer, Denmark (747kg per person). With less than 300kg of waste produced per person, Romania, Estonia and Poland are the lowest waste producers.

With 34% of its treated municipal waste recycled, Ireland is the third best for recycling waste in the EU, after Slovenia (50%) and Germany (47%). Ireland (6%) falls behind on composting, which was most common in Austria (35%), followed by the Netherlands (26%), Belgium (21%) and Luxembourg (20%).

The 481kg of waste created per person on average in the EU in 2013 is a reduction of 8.7% compared with the 2002 peak of 527kg per person. Since 2007, the generation of municipal waste per person has constantly decreased in the EU to below its mid-1990s level.

Municipal waste consists to a large extent of waste generated by households, but may also include similar wastes generated by small businesses and public institutions and collected by the municipality; this part of municipal waste may vary from municipality to municipality and from country to country, depending on the local waste management system. Waste from agriculture and industry is not included.

In principle, data on treated municipal waste only refer to waste treated within the Member State, and does not take into account waste exported for treatment. However, recycling capacities may be limited in small countries. Luxembourg is a case where recycled amounts include exports.

For areas in which municipal waste is not collected, the amount of waste generated is estimated.

Further information is available in the Eurostat Environmental Data Centre on Waste:


Eurostat, Statistics Explained article “Municipal waste statistics” available on Eurostat’s website:


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