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GEO Year Book 2004/5  
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MATERIALS AND WASTE

Landfill is still the predominant municipal waste treatment option in most countries throughout Europe.
Source: RIVM

Economic growth and consumption in Europe remain coupled to increased
use of materials and generation of wastes (RIVM 2004). Construction and demolition are the leading waste generators in Western Europe, mining and quarrying in Central Europe (EEA 2003). In Eastern Europe, waste generation is on the increase again in most countries: oil industries, mineral extraction and power plants are major waste generators (OECD 2004). Landfill is still the predominant form of municipal waste treatment in all of Europe (RIVM 2004, OECD 2004).

So far, policies to deal with waste have targeted individual waste streams (such as hazardous, packaging or electronic waste), and treatment methods (such as landfill or incineration). In Central and Western Europe, landfill is slowly giving way to incineration. Policies are becoming more comprehensive and integrated, including strategies on waste prevention and recycling and on sustainable use and re-use of resources (RIVM 2004). In Eastern Europe, lack of capacity to monitor and enforce regulation, and of finance to invest in better facilities, results in overloaded, improperly operated municipal waste disposal sites, and in illegal dumping (OECD 2004).


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