SPAIN: urban waste generation increases 60% in 15 years

Waste generation per capita has increased by around 60% over the last 15 years in Spain's seven largest cities: Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Málaga, Seville, Valencia, and Zaragoza, according to a study by the Club Español de Residuos (CER).


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If municipal waste generation continues to increase at this rate, there will soon be insufficient capacity to dispose of all the wastes, CER director, Carlos Martínez Ordago told El País. While other countries are reducing the amount of wastes they produce, Spain seems to be going in the opposite direction, shows the survey.

“Spain’s rapid increase in waste generation compared to other countries is partly explained by a rapid increase in quality of life and economic growth over the last 15 years”, Ordago told edie. While the increase is understandable, “what is worrying is that it does not appear to be stopping.” The Spanish Government has set a 10% reduction target for packaging wastes, but there are no other targets or initiatives for waste prevention.

Although around 80% of Spain’s annual 15 million tonnes of municipal waste are landfilled, there are only 124 controlled landfills. It is worrying that 15% of this waste is simply dumped in a hole in the ground, with no lining or controls, says Ordago.

The CER expects the role of landfill to be reduced from 80% to 70% over the next 2-3 years. It predicts that composting will increase from 11% to 17%, incineration from 6% to 9% and recycling from 2-3% to 7-8% over the same time period. “This is still nothing to be proud of”, says Ordago, as Spain’s waste management is still clearly lagging behind the leading European countries.

Waste generated (Kg /person/day)

 

1985

1998

Increase (%)

BILBAO

0,734

1,093

48,91

ZARAGOZA

0,670

1,103

64,62

MALAGA

0,860

1,418

64,88

MADRID

0,815

1,277

56,68

BARCELONA

0,883

1,370

55,15

VALENCIA

0,826

1,230

48,91

SEVILLA

0,752

1,143

51,99

Source: CER

© Faversham House Ltd 2022 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

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