EURELCO, in collaboration with i-Cleantech Flanders, has formally published an infographic combining new data on the landfill situation in the EU-28. Based on a bottom-up approach data were collected from several public bodies in Europe.
The headlines messages from this bottom-up inventory are:
The figure for the total amount of landfills in Europe is most likely even bigger than initially thought. With a reasonable safety level we can now state that Europe hosts more than 500,000 landfills.
90% of those landfills are in reality non-sanitary landfills, predating the Landfill Directive (1999). In most cases non-sanitary landfills lack the required environmental protection technologies and will eventually require costly remediation. The Landfill Directive is therefore rather irrelevant for at least 450,000 landfills.
Around 80% of Europe’s landfills essentially contain Urban Solid Waste, while only 20% are landfills containing more specific industrial wastes and residues. The most important difference between these type of landfills is that the former are typically publically owned, while the latter are privately owned.