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Blog June 2024

From Streams to Strategy: A Visual Guide to Europe's Waste Management

Explore Europe's pioneering role in addressing global waste management challenges in this comprehensive infographic.

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By 2050, the global rate of solid waste is expected to grow 70% to reach 3.4 billion tons, up from 2.1 billion tons in 2016. Currently, the regions with the highest projected increases in waste are those without modern waste infrastructure. Until we manage to decouple waste generation from both population growth and GDP growth, waste challenges will continue to increase.

The waste and recycling industry sits at the frontline of the accelerating waste challenge. In our Global Waste and Recycling Benchmark Report 2024, we surveyed government and commercial organizations to understand the economic impacts of these trends. We found:

  • Growth expectations: Both commercial and government waste and recycling managers expect growth in the next 3-5 years.
  • Commercial growth prediction: 9.1%
  • Government growth prediction: 6.8%

In spite of these growth predictions, waste and recycling industry organizations also identified challenges optimizing resources and their workforce effectively amidst this growth:

  • 73% consider operating expense reduction and increased efficiency as a top priority in the next year.
  • 50% find analyzing business performance, revenue assurance and margin optimization a main challenge.
  • 50% find harmonizing and optimizing business processes a major challenge.

This research indicates that not only is the growth in waste a material issue, it is a management issue for the waste and recycling industry.

While navigating the complex landscape of global waste management challenges in our recent whitepaper “The Future of Waste is Circular”, it becomes evident that effective solutions are not only imperative but necessary to evolve in the industry. One region that stands at the forefront of addressing these challenges is Europe. In this context, we have created a visual guide to Europe’s waste streams, challenges and strategic sectors as a waste management leader worldwide.

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