Dutch produce 500kg of garbage per year; Recycling nears 60%

Last year Dutch municipalities collected 8.5 billion kilograms of household waste. That is 494 kilograms of garbage per Netherlands inhabitant. 58 percent of the collected waste was separated for recycling, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday.

Since the end of the economic crisis, the amount of household waste has remained virtually the same at around 496 kilograms per inhabitant per year. The stats office separated household waste into two categories - mixed waste that is intended for post-separation and incineration, and separated waste that is collected for recycling. The percentage of waste separately collected for recycling increased from 51 percent in 2013 to 58 percent last year.

During the economic crisis, consumption decreased and with it the amount of waste collected. In 2008 a total of 561 kilograms of household waste was collected per inhabitant. By 2014 that dropped down to 498 kilograms. This amount did not increase again after the end of the crisis. Though there was a shift in the type of waste discarded by Dutch.

Before the 2008 economic crisis, 4.2 kilograms of textile waste was collected per inhabitant. At the end of the crisis, that dropped down to 3.8 kilograms. Last year 4.8 kilograms of textile waste was collected per inhabitant. Since the end of the crisis, the amount of wood discarded also increased.

The amount of discarded paper, on the other hand, decreased from 64 kilograms of discarded paper and cardboard per inhabitant in 2010 to 50 kilograms last year. According to the stats office, this has to do with the increase in digital media and the decrease in the use of paper newspapers and mail. 

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