Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Catalonia recycles 57% of municipal waste; Madrid only 28.5%

Spain failed to comply with the objective set by the Waste Directive in 2020, which required it to reuse or recycle 50% of urban waste for that year. This is reflected in the annual report on waste generation and management under municipal jurisdiction, published by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. Catalonia recycles 58% of its waste; Madrid only 28.5%

“If with this scenario, the government does not show ambition in terms of waste, the Community objectives and sanctions from Brussels will not comply,” the return platform warned.

Spain generated a total of 21.99 million municipal waste in 2020; But only 40.5% of this waste was subjected to reuse or recycling operations (about 9 million tonnes), including recycling (about 4.49 million tonnes) and composting of organic waste (4.42 million tonnes).

Landfills were the destination of practically half (49.4%, approximately 10.86 million tonnes) of this waste, while the remaining 10.1% (2.21 million tonnes) were incinerated mainly in energy recovery plants.

was breaking

It is now that this position has been made official, although various environmental organizations continue to condemn this position. Both the existing 2011 Directive and the old waste law established an obligation to recover at least 50% of these materials.

Several environmental organizations have already condemned Spain before the European Commission for not complying with recycling targets in February last year.

Catalonia leads

The community with the highest levels of recycling and recovery is Catalonia (57%), followed by La Rioja (56%), the Basque Country (55%) and the Valencian Community (53%). All of them therefore exceed the 50% recycling rate required by Europe, while Navarra borders on it (49%).

In contrast, the case of Madrid draws attention, where only 28.6% of municipal waste is recycled or recovered. 58.5% is thrown away and 12.9% is incinerated.

Behind, in last position, are the Balearic Islands (25), Asturias (23%), where 75% of waste has landfill as its final destination. and Galicia (20%) while in Andalusia it reaches 34.9%.

Melilla, for its part, burns 90% of its waste.

Catalonia contributes 57% of all organic material recycled in the state. Indeed, a pioneering law from 1993, approved with the encouragement of Minister Albert Villalta, largely explains these good results, despite the fact that its application has been gradual and not free of delays and obstacles.

Featured Collection Containers in Barcelona


Heavy, wood or metal waste is taken into account in all these accountings. For this reason, if considering those collected strictly in containers from the town hall, the data varies considerably…

Selective collection is done by municipalities

In particular, with respect to the collection carried out exclusively by municipalities, the ministry’s report shows that 20.7 million tonnes were collected in 2020, of which 79% (16.4 million tonnes) corresponded to the municipal waste mix. eat, that is, non-segregated garbage containers.

The remaining 21% corresponded to selective collection (4.3 million tonnes) and was distributed in the following fractions: paper-cardboard (1.3 million tonnes), biodegradable waste (1.2 million tonnes), light packaging (887,700 tonnes) and glass (829,000 tonnes). ton).

With these recycling data, Spain now faces the risk of sanctions by the European Union for failing to meet the objectives established in the Waste Framework Directive. And it faces additional difficulties in meeting the new European reuse and recycling targets: 55% by 2025, 60% by 2030 and 65% by 2035.

Retorna Foundation calls on government to reject “ambition” and PP proposals

“If with this scenario, the government does not show ambition in terms of waste, non-compliance with community objectives will increase, sanctions from Brussels and worse, use and burial will persist,” warned the return platform. Rejects a bill presented by the PP, in which it seeks to “devalue objectives in terms of prevention, reuse and green taxation (taxes on single-use plastics)” considering only the competitiveness of companies, their It’s logic.
“It is very serious that Parliament has agreed to discuss the PP’s proposed legislation just before Christmas and with whom they want to Burden The most ambitious element of all waste legislation”

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