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Treatment of solid urban waste in Italy 2018

In 2018, material recovery accounted for almost one third of the treatments of municipal solid waste in Italy. On the other hand, 22 percent of the waste generated in the country was sent to landfills for disposal, whereas 18 percent of it was incinerated. In addition, 21 percent of waste produced – more specifically the organic fraction – was subjected to biological treatment.  


 The recycling rate of municipal waste steadily increased from 29.7 percent in 2009 to 47.7 percent in 2017. In 2018, organic waste accounted for 40.7 percent of recycled municipal solid waste. Paper and glass represented 26 percent and 16 percent of the materials recycled, respectively. On the other hand, plastic accounted for only five percent of recycled waste.  


The deployment of landfills for disposing of municipal waste became less common over the last few years. As a matter of fact, in 2012, almost 11.7 million tons of municipal waste were processed in landfills, whereas by 2018, the volume had decreased to 6.5 million tons. Also, the number of operative landfills decreased.

Breakdown of treatments of municipal solid waste in Italy in 2018, by type

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Release date

December 2019



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Statistics on "Waste management in Italy"

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