Misleading: over one-tenth of Dutch recycling is incinerated, dumped, or misweighed

The Dutch Waste Fund claims that 52% of household and industrial waste in the Netherlands is recycled. But according to new research by Wageningen University, the amount of waste that is actually recycled is less than 40%.

The disparity in figures is because all sorted waste in the Netherlands is recorded as recycled, even though it might not actually go on to be recycled.

For example, plastic waste sent to countries outside of the European Union is always registered as recycled in the Netherlands. However, this waste is sometimes dumped or incinerated, as NRC recently reported in Turkey.

Poor registration

Another factor to the misleading figures by the Waste Fund, according to NU.nl, is that plastic waste in the Netherlands is often weighed before it is cleaned. Excess moisture and dirt in the bales of waste thus make them heavier, allowing us to believe that we are recycling more than we actually are.

New regulations are expected to be implemented next year, which will better monitor the Dutch waste industry and require plastic waste to be cleaned before it is measured. The recorded level of recycled waste is then expected to drop by about a quarter.

Is the Netherlands doing enough to recycle waste? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: EKM-Mittelsachsen/Pixabay

Emily Burger
Emily Burgerhttps://emilycburger.wixsite.com/expression
Emily grew up in South Africa but has also lived in Egypt, the UK, Canada and now the Netherlands. She first came here for her Bachelors in Arts and Culture at Maastricht University and soon fell in love with the land of canals, clogs and cheese. When she's not daydreaming about sci-fi movies or countries yet to explore, you can find her writing for DutchReview.

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