Households produce nearly 500 kg of trash per year; Rural worse than urban

Waste bins and containers in Capelle aan den IJssel
Waste bins and containers in Capelle aan den IJsselPhoto: kievith/DepositPhotos

Last year Dutch municipalities collected an average of 494 kilograms of household waste per Netherlands inhabitant, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday. Households in the very urban areas produced less waste for municipalities to collect than rural households, 419 kilograms and 582 kilograms per inhabitant respectively.

There are major differences in waste production and processing between the Dutch municipalities. In large cities, for example, organic waste is separated less often because small homes often don't have room for an organic waste container. And popular tourist destinations, such as the Wadden Islands, produce more waste per inhabitant, partly because holiday homes have no registered residents, but still produce waste. 

Rural municipalities produced more waste than urban ones in all categories. 

In rural municipalities, where more homes have a garden, an average of 138 kilograms of vegetable, fruit and garden waste per resident was collected last year. In very urban municipalities, it was an average of 29 kilograms per inhabitant. 

Rural municipalities collected an average of 23 kilograms of glass waste per inhabitant, moderately urban municipalities also collected 23 kilograms, and very urban municipalities collected 16 kilograms per inhabitant.

When it comes to paper waste, rural municipalities collected an average of 68 kilograms per resident last year, while very urban municipalities collected an average of 29 kilograms. 

In both glass and paper waste, the Wadden Islands produced far more waste per resident than the other Dutch municipalities. On Vlieland 153 kilograms of glass and 173 kilograms of paper were collected per resident last year. On Schiermonnikoog it was 148 kilograms and 185 kilograms respectively. Terscheling produced much less waste than the other two islands with 59 kilograms of glass per resident 48 kilograms of paper. 

"This is the effect of tourism in municipalities with few inhabitants, which can also be seen in Zeeland's coastal municipalities", the stats office said.