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The EU citizens separate their rubbish more or less. Yet there are accounts that

everything gets mixed and buried together after collecting

all of it gets exported to Asia

burning is not recycling

Is there a reliable source stating e.g. 'recycled glass as percent mass of total rubbish in the country?

  • 1
    You ask a lot of questions. You will probably get better answers if you separate this into different question posts. Perhaps one about recycling rates, and one about separation methods? And maybe one about the weird claim of the smart politician's son, because I'm pretty sure that's incorrect.
    – THelper
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 7:28
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    Germany apparently is the largest exporter of plastic waste in the EU, but the amount they export is decreasing and most now goes to The Netherlands so the politician's son is definitely incorrect. (source)
    – THelper
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 7:36
  • @THelper did what I can but please don't be shy to edit yourself!
    – Vorac
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 8:47

1 Answer 1


Our World in Data provides a chart showing municipal waste recycling rates for 38 different countries and regions. I've selected the available EU countries here:

Municipal waste recycling rate by country, 2005 to 2015

(EU countries missing from this chart are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta, and Romania.)

The data source is the OECD's statistics on municipal waste, generation, and treatment where you can find data through 2020 for several countries, as well as additional data points on composting, incineration, and a few categories of waste.

To your question about recycling rates of specific materials (such as glass), I only know of one for metals: the UN Environment Program 2011 report, Recycling Rates of Metals. A google search indicates there may be some reliable resources available for glass as well, but I am not familiar with any of them in particular.

  • 1
    This is much more than I have expected - thank You! I'm sure 'total waste per capita' is a confound in 'not littering the Earth' but that's a whole new topic.
    – Vorac
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 21:08

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