Romania among the EU’s worst recyclers

A recent report of the European Commission shows that Romania will miss the European Union 50/20 goal, meaning a 50% recycling rate of municipal waste by the year 2020. The report – complied by consultancy firm Eunomia – also warned the 14 countries that are below the limit and made a series of recommendations.

According to data from Eunomia, 14 EU countries – or half of the member states – have yet to reach the target while three of them (Cyprus, Greece and Romania) will miss it altogether.

“These countries – as it look snow – will miss the recycling target’, Adrian Gibbs of Eunomia told Euronews.

The last country was Malta, with a recycling rate of 7% and 83% of municipal waste going into landfill. Romania was second from the bottom with a recycling rate of 13% and 69% landfill. Romania was last year found guilty by the European Court of Justice for failing to comply with an obligation to close and rehabilitate 68 landfill sites that did not meet safety standards – in other words, presented an environmental and health hazard.

According to more recent, 2017 data from Eurostat (the data quoted so far from 2016), Germany was the EU country with the highest recycling rate of 67.6%, followed by followed by Slovenia with 57.8% and Austria with 57.7%.

While Estonia has a very low landfill rate, it also has the highest rate of burning municipal waste, a practice discouraged by the European Union as it creates more problems than it solves. Some Romanian municipalities – in order to lower their landfill rates – have applied for EU grants to build waste incinerators.


Author: Dénes Albert