How does the UK compare to europe on recycling

Recycling is certainly a hot topic at the moment. Local authroity waste disposal programmes are forcing many UK residents to adopt a recyling-centric approach to waste disposal. The strategy adopted by individual authorities are widely different and it seems they are all cooking up their own schemes with no real concensus about the best approach. A common theme across them is a recycling component, with authorities providing various containers for different types of waste.

Rubbish collection intervals have been extended in many areas, forcing people to recycle in order to cope with the limited disposal space available to them. But how does the UK compare to the rest of europe when it comes to recycling?


The results of a DEFRA survey in 2004 revealed that Greece was the poorest performer with the biggest proportion of household waste going to landfill. Landfill in Greece received 90 per cent of household waste whereas in Denmark, amazingly, it was down to less than 10 per cent.

You may be impressed by that figure but digging deeper it is revealed that Denmark incinerates over 50 per cent of it's waste, compared to none in Greece, but even so Denmark was still one of the leading recyclers and composters.

The star performers in terms of recycling are Austria achieving around 60 per cent. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands also perform well on recycling, but in the UK in 2004 we only managed around 10 per cent.

That figure is sure to be very different in 2008. Amenity waste sites make visitors seperate their waste out into different types for better recycling and skip companies are incentivised to achieve higher levels of recycling and even promote themselves on their recycling record. Look for a skip company that takes recycling seriously to ensure all your waste, whatever route it takes, has the option of being recycled if possible.

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