It is a huge mountain: municipalities collected 8.5 billion kilos of household waste last year. Per capita of the Netherlands this amounts to 494 kilos, roughly the same as the years before, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands.

The amount of household waste has remained fairly constant since the economic crisis: just under 500 kilos per inhabitant every year. When things were going badly for the economy, we started to consume less, and then it remained at that lower level.

More waste is being separated. That was 51 percent in 2013, compared to 58 percent last year. That is because there are more and more options for handing in glass, paper, textiles and packaging separately, concludes the CBS.

Less paper

Municipalities themselves also separate part of the mixed waste that they receive. Statistics Netherlands has not yet included these figures as separate collection. The rest of that mixed waste is incinerated.

What is decreasing is the amount of paper and cardboard collected. In eight years this has fallen from 64 kilos per inhabitant to 50 kilos. That is because there are fewer and fewer paper newspapers, brochures and mail, and more and more is being sent digitally.

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