Waste reduced in 2020 by 20.3%

Madrid (EFE) – The Spanish economy generated 106.1 million tons of waste in 2020, down 20.3% from the previous year, and recycling has increased this year compared to the total amount of waste recycled since 2015, by 16.4%, up 54.7%, according to the latest data provided by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Of the more than one hundred million tons of waste in 2020, only 3.3 million tons were hazardous, which is 0.1% less compared to 2019, and the rest, just over one hundred million, were non-hazardous waste (20.9 million tons ). % less than the previous year).

According to data released this Wednesday by INE, the most important categories of waste generated were mineral (41.8 million tons), mixed waste (36.8 million) and animal and vegetable waste (9.1 million).

The amount of waste is decreasing in 2020The amount of waste is decreasing in 2020
Paper container in an image file. EFE/Zipi

In percentage terms, almost all, 96.9%, of the waste generated in 2020 was non-hazardous, and 3.1% had this name. Of the total hazardous, 45.1% were chemical residues, 36.4% were decommissioned equipment, and 14.7% were mineral residues.

On the other hand, 78.3% of the waste generated in 2020 came from industries and 21.7% from households.
The activities with the largest annual waste reduction in 2020 were industry (down 57.6%) and services (down 10%). In contrast, waste generation increased by 2.4% in the agriculture, livestock, forestry and fisheries group.

For their part, according to INE data, households as consumers produced 1.1% more waste.

Of the total amount of waste generated in 2020, 86.4 million were handled by finishers, down 25.4% from the previous year.

In particular, these enterprises processed 84.2 million tons of non-hazardous waste (25.9% less than in 2019) and 2.2 million tons of hazardous waste (1% less).

Of the total recycled waste, 36% ended up in landfill, 54.7% was recycled, 5.1% was reused in landfills and 4.2% was incinerated.

By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at