Generation of waste

Updated: 9 Dec 2020
Next update: 9 Dec 2021

Municipal waste refers to waste generated in households and waste comparable to household waste generated in production, especially in the service industries. The general common feature of municipal waste is that it is generated in the consumption of final products in communities and is covered by municipal waste management systems. Waste treatment refers to the recovery, neutralisation and final disposal of waste.

   

Amount of municipal waste grew slightly in 2019 – most of waste was still recovered as energy

Over three million tonnes of municipal waste was generated in 2019. Compared with the previous year, the total amount of waste increased by 80,000 tonnes, or by just under three per cent. No great changes took place in the mutual shares of treatment modes of waste. The amount of waste corresponded to around 565 kg calculated per inhabitant.

A total of 3,122,705 tonnes of municipal waste were generated in 2019. Compared with the previous year, the growth amounted to around 80,000 tonnes, or just under three per cent. The growth in the amount of waste was more moderate than in the previous year. In addition to waste generated in housing, comparable waste from trade, manufacturing and services is regarded as municipal waste.

Energy recovery was still the most significant treatment method of municipal waste

No great changes took place in the mutual shares of treatment methods of waste. Since 2012 energy recovery of waste has been the most significant treatment mode of municipal waste – in 2019 its share fell slightly, to 56 per cent. Energy recovery of municipal waste is based on combined production of electricity and heat, and the heat is often utilized in district heating networks.

The share of material recovery of waste grew slightly, being 43 per cent. Due to the landfill prohibition of organic waste that came into force in 2016, municipal waste is no longer deposited at landfills. In 2019, the share of landfill disposal was under one per cent.