Cyprus ranked second in per capita production of municipal solid waste among EU member states in 2016 while nearly 80 per cent of rubbish is still dumped in landfills, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported on Wednesday.
In the latest available EU data, which go up to 2016, per capita production of municipal solid waste reached 642kg in Cyprus, second only to Denmark which marked 777kg per capita.
Germany came in third with 627kg, followed by Malta with 621kg and Luxembourg with 614kg. The average municipal solid waste production per inhabitant of the EU in 2016 was 483kg.
Meanwhile, according to the statistical service Cystat on Wednesday, 79.5 per cent of the 521,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste that was managed in 2017 in Cyprus, was dumped in landfills.
Fifteen per cent was separated for recycling, 2 per cent was composted, 3.2 per cent was used for backfilling and 0.3 per cent was burnt for energy production.
Total production of municipal solid waste in 2017 reached 547,000 tonnes, marking an increase of 0.36 per cent compared to 2016, during which Cyprus produced 545,000 tonnes.
Earlier this year, Environment Minister Costas Kadis said that the amount of rubbish thrown into landfills is unacceptable and the practice threatens to burden the state with large fines by the European authorities.
According to European directives, he said, less than 10 per cent of municipal rubbish should end up in landfills, whereas in Cyprus more than 70 per cent does.
Kadis’ remarks came after the European council adopted a waste package which sets out new rules for waste management and establishes legally binding targets for recycling.
Member states will have to meet targets as they increase the reuse and recycling of municipal waste over the coming years. They need to reuse and recycle 55 per cent of it by 2025, 60 per cent by 2030 and 65 per cent by 2035.