Modelling Recycling Targets: Achieving a 50% Recycling Rate for Household Waste in Denmark


Within the European Union (EU) a paradigm shift is currently occurring in the waste sector, where EU waste directives and national waste strategies are placing emphasis on resource efficiency and recycling targets. The most recent Danish resource strategy calculates a national recycling rate of 22% for household waste, and sets an ambitious goal of a 50% recycling rate by 2020. This study integrates the recycling target into the FRIDA model to project how much waste and from which streams should be diverted from incineration to recycling in order to achieve the target. Furthermore, it discusses how the existing technological, organizational and legislative frameworks may affect recycling activities. The results of the analysis show that with current best practice recycling rates, the 50% recycling rate cannot be reached without recycling of household biowaste. It also shows that all Danish municipalities will need to make efforts to recover all recyclable fractions, and that the increased recycling efforts of only selected municipalities will not be sufficient to reach the target.

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Hill, A. , Dall, O. and Andersen, F. (2014) Modelling Recycling Targets: Achieving a 50% Recycling Rate for Household Waste in Denmark. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 627-636. doi: 10.4236/jep.2014.57064.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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