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Residual waste decreased by 25% in Flanders

According to OVAM, the Public Waste Agency of Flanders, the annual amount of collected residual waste (including street waste) has decreased from 191 to 150 kilograms per person in the period 2000-2010.

Since 1990, Flanders has seen a steady decrease of residual waste, coupled with an increase of selectively collected waste. However, between 2000 and 2010 the amount of selectively collected waste only increased marginally, suggesting a decrease in the total amount of waste.

Compared to the annual total amount of waste - 525 kilograms in 2010 -, residual waste takes up a fraction of around 28%. In other words, 72% of waste is selectively collected in Flanders. On a regional level, there are still some disparities though, with the municipalities at the Belgian Coast traditionally falling behind. According to Jan Verheyen from OVAM, this can be easily explained by the large amount of tourists visiting the Coast. Likewise, larger cities such as Antwerp are believed to create more residual waste due to their student population.

Mr. Verheyen added that municipalities themselves can have a large influence as well, by adopting a waste policy with a focus on prevention, and holding onto the Polluter Pays Principle. In addition, a well-working recycling yard and re-use center, and selective collection of bio-waste are important.

Looking at the future, it is clear that there is a lower limit to the amount of residual waste. However, bulky waste, which now contributes to 30 of the 150 kilograms, has room for improvement, since 50-66% of it is sorted out at a later stage.

Source: www.deredactie.be; www.herent.be (picture)

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