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Recycling of Communal Waste: Current State and Future Potential for Sustainable Development in the EU

1
Institute of Earth Resources, Faculty of Mining, Ecology, Process Control and Geotechnologies, Technical University of Košice, Letná 9, 042 00 Košice, Slovakia
2
Department of Economics and Management of Public Administration, Faculty of Public Administration, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Popradská 66, 041 32 Košice, Slovakia
3
BERG Faculty, Technical University of Košice, B. Nemcovej 3, 042 00 Košice, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2904; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102904
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
The constant consumption of resources exerts pressure on the environment. In this sense, waste management has obtained increasing attention from the view of a circular economy. The European Union deals with these mentioned aspects, trying maintain long-term competitiveness and to provide sustainable development in accordance with all related environmental aspects. This paper focuses on the evaluation of the production of communal waste in 36 EU countries. The main aim is to evaluate the success of countries’ efforts to decrease waste production and increase recycling rates. The methodology used for the evaluation included data collected from the publicly available database Eurostat, consequent analyses and evaluation in the statistical software JMP 13 through regression, distribution, and cluster analysis, and the interpretation of the results. The results of the cluster analysis showed that despite clear EU waste management legislation, EU member states have significantly different waste management systems at the national level. However, generally, we could see positive correlation between the generation of waste and recycling rates. Although, Malta, Austria, Greece, and Norway recorded a decreasing level of waste recycling over the last several years, some countries (Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania) had significantly lower recycling rates accompanied by low landfill taxes. The evaluation of waste production and recycling can be used for government policy in the area of waste management, as well as for individual communities dealing with communal waste. View Full-Text
Keywords: circular economy; living environment; waste production; waste recycling; sustainable development circular economy; living environment; waste production; waste recycling; sustainable development
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Taušová, M.; Mihaliková, E.; Čulková, K.; Stehlíková, B.; Tauš, P.; Kudelas, D.; Štrba, Ľ. Recycling of Communal Waste: Current State and Future Potential for Sustainable Development in the EU. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2904.

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