Cities and regions collect Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) data on a regular basis with various purposes, be it to assess their waste management policies, to compare their performances with other territories or to answer to reporting obligations (for example for Eurostat). However, they often use different definitions and methodologies, which makes it difficult to have consistent comparisons, which is why it is important to know the source of the data.
R4R partners agreed on a methodology including a common definition of MSW, the waste fractions that are included in MSW and the waste fractions that are considered as “recycled” depending on their destination. This methodology is the basis of the online tool that allows comparison and benchmarking between cities and regions
Municipal solid waste is defined as all the waste generated by households (regardless who collects it) plus the non-household waste collected by or on behalf of the municipalities plus similar non-household WEEE and batteries collected by or on behalf of accredited bodies. Are excluded from MSW: construction and demolition waste, end-of-life vehicles, water treatment and waste water treatment sludge, sewage sludge.
Previous discussions during R4R’s Expert group meetings have highlighted
difficulties linked to the definition of “sorting rates” and “recycling
rates”. One difficulty was the fact that local and regional authorities
generally have limited information on the outcomes of sorted material
(e.g. what fractions of the material bills going out of sorting
facilities are effectively used as recycled material in industrial
Therefore, R4R partners have agreed on a new notion, “DREC” (Destination RECycling) that includes:
- Municipal waste streams separated at source & collected
separately (one homogeneous waste stream not mixed with other waste
streams) with the purpose of recycling.
- The output from sorting facilities (including bulky waste sorting centres) going directly to facilities for recycling.
- The output from mechanical biological treatment installation (digestate) going directly to facilities for recycling.
The R4R methodology also gives in depth detail on data reporting as well as on indicators enabling comparison between regional/local performances, illustrated by examples from the R4R partners' territories.
Download the R4R methodology: Municipal Solid Waste Data - R4R project scope
The R4R methodology enables real benchmark between European territories since they will therefore compare the same thing. To facilitate comparison and benchmark, public authorities can fill in their data using the DREC methodology via the R4R online tool.
The online tool will allow data monitoring in time and between territories.