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Cyprus lagging behind in recycling as municipal waste soars

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Women seen standing in front of recycling bins

Cyprus has seen municipal waste production increase, while its recycling efforts continue to lag behind other countries, according to the latest data released by Eurostat, the statistical service of the European Union.

The service noted that the production of municipal waste in Cyprus increased by 3.5 per cent to 673 kg per person in 2022 compared to 2021, surpassing the EU average of 513 kg. In contrast, the EU experienced a decrease in municipal waste production during the same period.

Similarly, Cyprus witnessed an increase in the amount of municipal waste produced per person from 2021 to 2022, rising from 650 kg to 673 kg, marking a 3.5 per cent increase. Conversely, at the EU level, municipal waste decreased from 532 kg per person in 2021 to 513 kg per person in 2022, reflecting a 3.5 per cent decrease.

Compared to 1995, Cyprus saw an increase of 78 kg in municipal waste production per person, reaching a total increase of 13.1 per cent. In contrast, the EU experienced an increase of 46 kg per person, accounting for a 9.9 per cent rise.

Municipal waste generation varied significantly among EU members in 2022. For instance, citizens in Austria (827 kg per person), Denmark (787 kg), and Luxembourg (720 kg) generated the highest amount of municipal waste, while the lowest amounts were observed in Romania (301 kg), Poland (364 kg), and Estonia (373 kg).

Eurostat attributes these variations across countries to differences in consumption patterns, economic wealth, and the collection and management of municipal waste, including waste from commerce, trade, and administration.

Regarding recycling, the EU registered an average of 249 kg per person in 2022, down from 264 kg per person in 2021. This average has been steadily increasing since 1995 when it stood at 88 kg per person.

Provisional data for Cyprus show a recycling rate of 100 kg per person in 2022, marking an increase from 91 kg in 2021.

However, this figure remains below the peak observed in 2019, which stood at 113 kg, before experiencing a slight decline to 107 kg in 2020. Despite the uptick, Cyprus still ranks as having the fourth-lowest recycling rate in 2022.

During the period covering from 1995 to 2019, recycling in Cyprus exhibited a gradual increase, climbing from 0 kg to 17 kg per person.

In comparison, countries like Austria (516 kg), Denmark (411 kg), and Germany (409 kg) led the way with the highest amounts of recycled waste per person, while Romania (36 kg), Malta (75 kg), and Greece (90 kg) reported the lowest figures

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