Indicators waste

Municipal solid waste

The steady growth of the population and increasing prosperity are giving rise to ever more wastes that need to be incinerated or recycled. The associated energy consumption and pollutant emissions from waste incineration plants could be reduced substantially in Switzerland by applying high waste management standards and through technical measures. High quantities of waste are particularly problematic because they are associated with high consumption of resources.

Assessment of the state
poor poor
Assessment of the trend
unsatisfactory unsatisfactory
Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2018: 369 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2018: 334 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2017: 369 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2017: 334 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2016: 376 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2016: 340 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2015: 382 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2015: 342 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2014: 390 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2014: 339 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2013: 358 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2013: 344 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2012: 347 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2012: 347 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2011: 345 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2011: 344 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2010: 357 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2010: 349 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2009: 360 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2009: 340 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2008: 367 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2008: 366 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2007: 367 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2007: 351 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2006: 356 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2006: 352 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2005: 335 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2005: 327 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2004: 322.319622387053 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2004: 337 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2003: 317.77074829932 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2003: 351.020408163265 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2002: 315.759726027397 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2002: 360.27397260274 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2001: 310.234027777778 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2001: 355.555555555556 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 2000: 298.050139275766 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 2000: 360.724233983287 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1999: 273.077932960894 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1999: 363.128491620112 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1998: 266.826718837339 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1998: 343.767467859139 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1997: 256.302521008403 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1997: 350.140056022409 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1996: 247.809203142536 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1996: 352.132435465769 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1995: 232.28207306712 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1995: 368.167657887284 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1994: 218.786428571429 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1994: 380 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1993: 195.8303558668 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1993: 400.171502072317 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1992: 188.390282583622 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1992: 406.574394463668 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1991: 182.046268005238 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1991: 419.030990833697 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1990: 172.160094173043 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1990: 431.135962330783 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1989: 160.642570281125 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1989: 443.254499479399 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1988: 151.401588967171 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1988: 431.719382401439 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1987: 140.50460794682 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1987: 421.513823840459 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1986: 129.316902479842 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1986: 413.814087935494 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1985: 122.114189499464 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1985: 399.51017909077 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1984: 114.951114527287 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1984: 396.617986164489 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1983: 107.805152730639 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1983: 373.341561246529 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1982: 101.625947116128 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1982: 366.475954847688 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1981: 94.5983823300669 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1981: 363.975734951003 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1980: 84.8864526233359 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1980: 358.653093187157 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1979: 79.7007874015748 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1979: 352.755905511811 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1978: 74.3367024636766 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1978: 333.228048010107 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1977: 69.6643445218493 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1977: 316.656111462951 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1976: 63.0664771830096 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1976: 307.910942681194 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1975: 56.7702639387787 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1975: 298.297672965797 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1974: 53.8080495356037 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1974: 294.117647058823 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1973: 51.6904207421208 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1973: 270.144387517466 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1972: 49.6484924230589 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1972: 262.45899078269 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1971: 48.5416995112723 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1971: 261.705817436544 Separately collected municipal solid waste per person 1970: 47.5506621988192 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person* 1970: 261.688208074039
* Since 2004 without imported wastes

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: MSWIs, recycling associations
Separately collected municipal solid waste 2017: 3.15 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2017: 2.85 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2016: 3.18 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2016: 2.88 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2015: 3.18 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2015: 2.85 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2014: 3.22 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2014: 2.79 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2013: 2.91 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2013: 2.8 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2012: 2.79 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2012: 2.79 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2011: 2.75 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2011: 2.73 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2010: 2.81 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2010: 2.76 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2009: 2.8 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2009: 2.66 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2008: 2.82 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2008: 2.83 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2007: 2.78 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2007: 2.68 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2006: 2.67 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2006: 2.66 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2005: 2.5 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2005: 2.44 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2004: 2.39 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2004: 2.51 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2003: 2.34 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2003: 2.58 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2002: 2.31 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2002: 2.63 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2001: 2.23 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2001: 2.56 Separately collected municipal solid waste 2000: 2.14 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 2000: 2.59 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1999: 1.83 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1999: 2.6 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1998: 1.92 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1998: 2.46 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1997: 1.83 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1997: 2.5 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1996: 1.77 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1996: 2.51 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1995: 1.64 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1995: 2.6 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1994: 1.53 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1994: 2.66 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1993: 1.37 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1993: 2.8 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1992: 1.31 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1992: 2.82 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1991: 1.25 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1991: 2.88 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1990: 1.17 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1990: 2.93 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1989: 1.08 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1989: 2.98 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1988: 1.01 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1988: 2.88 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1987: 0.93 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1987: 2.79 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1986: 0.85 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1986: 2.72 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1985: 0.8 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1985: 2.61 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1984: 0.75 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1984: 2.58 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1983: 0.7 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1983: 2.42 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1982: 0.66 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1982: 2.37 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1981: 0.61 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1981: 2.34 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1980: 0.542 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1980: 2.29 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1979: 0.51 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1979: 2.24 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1978: 0.47 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1978: 2.11 Separately collected municipal solid waste 1977: 0.44 Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled 1977: 2

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: MSWIs, recycling associations
Comment

The quantity of municipal solid waste generated in 2018 was 703 kg per person, 100 kg more than in the year 1990. This increase can be attributed mainly to the flourishing economy in this period. The increase in the amount of waste has been largely compensated by an improved recycling rate. The share of wastes disposed of in incineration plants (MSWs) has even declined slightly in recent years.

The relatively high amount of waste is today no longer a major environmental burden. It does indicate however that the consumption of resources in Switzerland is still very high. For this reason the status is rated as poor. Since a significant decrease would be desirable, the slight decline in wastes disposed of in MSWs must be considered unsatisfactory.

International comparison

Because municipal solid waste does not always contain exactly the same types of waste (e.g. fuel substitutes in coal-powered power plants) and the survey methods can vary considerably, it is not always possible to make a direct comparison. However it can be said that in general Switzerland has a relatively high per capita proportion of municipal waste that on the one hand is rooted in the high living standard and on the other hand is made visible by the complete and detailed breakdown of many types of waste.

Method

To calculate the total amount of municipal solid waste, the separately collected waste (paper and cardboard, compostable waste, glass packaging, aluminium, PET beverage containers, sheet steel packaging, textiles, batteries and electronic scrap) and the incinerated municipal waste are added together. The quantities are calculated as follows: The private collection agencies responsible for the individual separate collections calculate the quantities and report them to the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The FOEN authorises an annual count of beverages and beverage packaging that is carried out by the Swiss Association for environmentally sound beverage containers (SVUG). The figures for biodegradable waste (organic waste, compost, material for anaerobic digestion etc) are based on  annual recorded data. The incinerated municipal waste is quantified on delivery to the municipal incineration plant. Generally a distinction is made between deliveries from the municipal waste collection service and private direct deliveries. Projecting from previous experience the share of municipal solid waste can be calculated as follows: total of municipal waste plus 60% of direct deliveries.

Basis for assessment of the trend
Targeted trend Initial value Final value Variation in % Observed trend Assessment
Decrease Average 2000-2002 Average 2016-2018 -6.37% Decrease positive
Basis: Municipal solid waste incinerated and landfilled per person*
 
Last updated on: 24.09.2019

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