During the past few decades, there has been a tremendous push to increase recycling rates all over the world, and Europe does a better job than most other parts of the world regarding recycling. For example, Germany is the country that has the highest recycling rate in the world. Even though there are different ways to calculate the total recycling rate, Germany appears to recycle about 56 percent of all of the waste it produces.
Germany was not always the leader in world recycling. In 1990, Germany conducted a comprehensive audit of its waste and recycling management systems, and it completed a comprehensive overhaul of its waste and recycling management system to increase the percentage of waste it recycles.
Austria, the other Bavarian nation in Europe, also has a very high recycling rate. It takes second place in the world, with approximately 54 percent of its waste being recycled. Austria increased the percentage of waste it recycles by putting a blanket ban on certain products ending up in landfills. In general, any product that has a total organic carbon emission rate that is higher than five percent is not allowed to go into a landfill. It has to be recycled in some way. This type of strict legislation has led to a significant increase in the recycling rate in Austria during the past few years. There are several other countries in Europe that have followed suit.
The United States does not recycle nearly as much waste as the other countries in the world. It can be difficult to estimate the total amount of waste that is recycled in the United States because it is controlled at the state level. There are not a lot of rules and regulations at the federal level. Therefore, there are some states that do a much better job of recycling than others. Furthermore, just because someone in the United States puts something in the recycle bin doesn't necessarily mean it is going to get recycled. The recycling plant may decide that some waste might not be recyclable, so it might end up in the landfill anyway.
Even though Europe is closely associated with recycling, there are a few Asian countries that do a good job as well. For example, South Korea does a great job competing with some of the European countries on the list. South Korea has a recycling rate of approximately 53.7 percent. It has a number of very successful private companies that collect the waste, recycle it, and sell it for a profit. South Korea has also felt a lot of pressure from China, which has been revamping its recycling system recently. Korean businesses are working hard to keep up with the superpower to the north, as a significant amount of the waste it sells goes to China.
Rates 2022 EPI
Municipal Waste Composting 2021
Municipal Waste Recycling 2021
Municipal Waste Composting 2020
Municipal Waste Recycling 2020
|United Arab Emirates||24.5%|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||23.8%|
|Republic of the Congo||17.2%|
|Sao Tome and Principe||16.9%|
|Trinidad and Tobago||16.2%|
|Antigua and Barbuda||15.3%|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||13.3%|
|Central African Republic||9.1%|
|Papua New Guinea||6.3%|
As of 2022, South Korea recycled 67.1% of its waste, placing it in the top spot of recyclers globally.