June 15, 2021

Spain is the EU country that dumps the most waste in landfills

56.3% of the total waste in Spain goes to landfill.

56.3% of the total waste in Spain goes to landfill.

Spain is the country of EU that more waste takes to landfill, 56.3% of the total, and only 9.9% of the garbage is treated for its energy recovery, that is, to produce energy from waste that cannot be recycled, which constitutes a “environmental, social and economic” problem.

Recycle 65% of garbage at the municipal level by 2035 with a maximum 10% discharge as claimed by the EU is something “difficult to achieve”, has warned the president of the Association of Companies for the Energy Recovery of Urban Waste (Aeversu), Rafael Guinea.

Guinea, which has participated in the presentation of a report aimed at defending “the contribution of the sector of the energy recovery of urban waste to the mitigation of climate change”, recalled that Spain is the EU country that “takes more waste to landfill”, which constitutes an “environmental, social and economic” problem.

According to their data, the percentage of recycled garbage is currently 33.8%, while that destined for landfill reaches 56.3% and only 9.9% is treated for energy recovery.

In the presentation of the study, in which the forestry engineer and associate of the G-Advisory firm in charge of its preparation, Laura Santiago, have also participated, both have defended the suitability of energy recovery to generate energy from waste that cannot be recycled, as a solution to the high volume deposited in landfills.

Santiago has specified that, “without taking into account the emissions avoided during the process,” landfills already emit 772 kg of CO2 equivalent per tonne treated, while recovery generates emissions of 224 kg of CO2 equivalent per tonne.

These figures show that waste management in landfills “generates twice as many Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions than energy recovery per ton of treated waste”, since it presents “a net balance 3.5 times higher”.

The two experts have insisted on the idea that Spain must bet on the circular economy in order to meet European demands and, in this direction, “the increase in reuse and recycling, with the complement of energy recovery, is consolidated as a key scheme “, according to Santiago.


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