(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Waste management and recycling industries in the European Union had a turnover of 145 billion euro in 2008, representing around 2 million jobs.
The European Commission published a report Monday saying full compliance with EU waste policy could create an additional extra 400,000 jobs within the EU and an extra annual turnover of 42 billion euro.
However, there are significant differences in waste management among EU member states.
The most advanced six members - Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Sweden and The Netherlands - virtually throw away nothing , less than 3 percent of their municipal waste. At the other extreme, 9 EU member states are still throwing away more than 75 percent of their municipal waste.
A mix of landfilling and incineration taxes and bans, producer responsibility schemes and pay-as-you-throw prove to be the most effective tools in shifting waste streams to more sustainable paths, noted the report. "Waste is too valuable to just throw away, and if you manage it right you can put that value back into the economy.
Six Member States now combine virtually zero landfilling and high recycling rates. Not only do they exploit the value of the waste, they have created thriving industries and many jobs in the process," commented EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik.