Countries reporting highest recycling rates challenged by Eunomia report

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
Germany remained top of the leader board for recycling rates, even after the adjustments were made

Leading recycling nations may be overstating the level of recycling they are achieving, according to a Eunomia report.

The updated Recycling- Who Really Leads the World? report ranks countries by reported recycling rates and then calculates an adjusted recycling rate using publicly available waste data.

Adjustments were made due to differences in how countries measure recycling rates, for example whether construction or commercial waste is included, or how ash from incineration is accounted for.

Original recycling reported rates in Germany (66%), Wales (64%) and Singapore (61%) were the highest, yet following the adjusted rates, Germany (56%), Austria (54%) and South Korea (54%) came out top, with Wales dropping into fourth place.

Rob Gillies, Eunomia managing consultant, said: “It’s important to note this research has been carried out so we can identify who the real leaders in recycling are and to share best practice by shining a spotlight on what these countries are doing.

“We hope that this will help progress the debate on how best to measure ‘real’ recycling, in line with the principles of the waste hierarchy, in a way that is as consistent as possible within Europe and further afield.”

The report is supported by the European Environmental Bureua.

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