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European statistics on waste: a reliable and robust method must be found to assess recycling performance.


25 Apr 2016


Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

21st of April 2016, Brussels, FNADE,  the  French  professional  organisation  representing  the  industrial  operators  of waste  management,  took  note  of  waste  statistics  recently  published  by  Eurostat[1].  The figures are based on biased reporting practices.  These data therefore reflect the same weaknesses as in the past, in terms of reliability and comparability.

FNADE  shares  the  vision  supported  by  the  European  Union  of  a  circular  economy  using waste  as  a  real  resource.  Thus,  FNADE  welcomes  the  new  figures  confirming  the  growth trend  of recycling and composting observed in previous years,  with a recycling rate of waste by 44% for the year 2014,.

However,  FNADE  notes  that  these  performances  are  still  calculated  with  non-comparable data or unreliable  ones  in some countries.  Indeed, the waste framework directive is based on  four  different  reporting methods left to  the  free  interpretation  of  each  Member  State. However  it  is  essential  that  the  performances  officially  published  truly  reflect  the  real situation. Otherwise the  design of public policies  related to waste  and, more broadly,  to  the circular economy,  do not take into account, in all their dimensions, the  required  efforts  and the public costs to engage.

Therefore, FNADE reiterates its support to the use of a single, reliable and robust calculation method, equally applied across Europe.  This  method  exists,  it  is  described  in  the  Eurostat manual[2] and  involves  defining,  as  the  calculation  point  of  the  recycling  performance,  the output of the sorting plant. This point is  in the heart of  the treatments  aiming at  extracting the  recoverable  material  waste  before  reincorporation,  it  is  upstream  of  the  current proposal of the European Commission.

This method has the advantage of taking into account, homogeneously and with  guaranteed traceability,  the  quantities  of  material  for  recycling  before  export  or  before  end-of-waste status.

As a committed actor in recycling and material recovery, FNADE resolutely proposes a simple and  consistent  calculation  method,  without  additional  reporting  effort,  based  on  strong traceability required by the waste regulation.

Calculation of the recycling rate: FNADE recommends retaining as calculation point the output of sorting plant.


FNADE, the French national federation for waste management and environmental services, is a professional organisation which represents the environment industry. Its members include service providers, manufacturers, research departments and equipment manufacturers which are active in the field of waste management or environmental services. It is made up of 234 private companies, 52,955 employees in France, €11.3bn of turnover and 932 operating sites. It is a member of the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD)

Press Contact Paris: Marie-Claire Pepiot  Tel: +33 1 53 04 32 90  
FNADE - 33 rue de Naples - 75008 PARIS 

Brussels: Valérie Plainemaison Tel: +32 2 230 65 50
Rue Philippe le Bon, 15 - B 1000 Brussels

[2] Guidance  on  Municipal  Waste  Data  Collection,  November  2012:  “Recycled  materials  are  those collected selectively  at  source  or  from  waste  collection  sites,  not  including  rejected  materials  but  including materials recovered from MBT as well as post-incineration metals.”