The indicator shows the quantity of municipal waste per capita in Slovenia and compares it with the average in the European Union.
Municipal waste is defined as from households and other waste which is by its nature and composition similar to household waste. According to the Environment Protection Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, Nos. 41/04, 17/06, 20/06 and 28/06) the municipal waste is collected and transported within the obligatory local public service of environmental protection.
Image OD1-1: The quantity of municipal waste per capita in Slovenia and in EU-27
Source: Waste Management Database, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, 2006; SI-STAT, Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2006; Municipal waste generation, EUROSTAT, 2007
Image OD1-2: The share of recovered and deposited municipal waste with regard to waste management methods
Source: Waste Management Database, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, 2009
Image OD1-3: Generation and collection of waste
Source: Environment in the palm of your hand, 2007
- Separate collection of waste at source and effective treatment (mechanical, biological, thermal) of the waste remaining after separate collection.
- To reduce quantities of waste by combining producers’ and users’ behaviour patterns and habits, ways of life, technological improvements, economic activities and measures, and demographic changes.
Economic growth brings about increased use of natural resources and, consequently, larger quantities of waste are generated. This is particularly evident in households which have in recent years generated growing quantities of waste due to developed consumption and higher purchasing power of the population.
In Slovenia, municipal waste management is the responsibility of local communities; the majority of activities is now performed at intermunicipal level, and will be executed at regional level in the near future. All issues of waste management need to be resolved within the capacities of regional centres.
According to the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, about 430 kg of municipal waste is generated per capita annually in Slovenia. According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia for the years 1995 and 1998, the numbers were somewhat higher (515 and 523 kg per capita per year). However, the methodology for collecting data on waste generated was slightly different, so it would be difficult to conclude that the quantity of waste generated had fallen. According to the 2002 data, 411 kg of municipal waste per capita was generated in Slovenia.
In the period 2003-2007, the quantity of collected municipal waste increased from 402 kg to 437 kg per capita. In 2008, 922,829 tonnes of waste were generated and the quantity increased to 453 kg per capita. In the period 2003-2008, the quantity of collected municipal waste increased by 17 % in Slovenia.
With regard to municipal waste management, disposal still prevails. In 2008, 71% (800 thousand tonnes) of waste were deposited. Compared to 2002, it is an increase of 30% in municipal waste disposal. In 2008, 29 % of municipal waste (360 thousand tonnes) were recycled, which actually is by 44-times more than in 2002, but the share of recycling remains too small in comparison to waste disposal.
In view of the amendments in the legislation, the establishment of regional waste management centres, taxes and financial guarantees provided for landfill operators, the deposited quantities of waste are expected to decrease.
In spite of growing quantities of generated municipal waste, Slovenia still remains rather bellow the European average, since the EU-27 average of collected waste amounted to 522 kg per capita in 2007. However, the methodologies for collecting data are not fully comparable. The quantity of municipal waste is increasing in most EU-27 Member States. The Fifth Environmental Action Programme set out a goal of stabilising the municipal waste generation across the EU at 300 kg/capita per year by 2000; however, this goal proved to be difficult to reach – as soon as in 2004, the average quantity in the EU was around 500 kg/capita per year.
In the recent past, the European Union in terms of the waste management hierarchy increasingly started to underline the prevention of waste generation in addition to effective collection and separation of municipal waste. In this respect we are rather in the initial stage in Slovenia, since changes are urgently needed in both the manufacture of products and environmental awareness of the population. The quantity of waste can namely be reduced in every household by selection of reusable products without unnecessary packaging or at least with reusable packaging, long useful life and similar.
Data for Slovenia:
Objectives summarized by: Resolution on National Environmental Action Plan 2005-2012 (ReNPVO, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 2/06)
Other sources and literature: