Waste and Substance Flow Management

Vom Abfall zum Wertstoff mit Dienstleistungs- und Produktinnovationen aus Österreich© Shutterstock

Innovative legislation and awareness raising

Austria's waste management sector is one of the most progressive in Europea and in global comparison. Based on 40 indicators of the EU, the Netherlands and Austria have been ranked 1st in the EU.

Austria has a very high refuse and recycling rate. The following strategies are used for prevention and recycling:

  • closing of material circuits (RESET)
  • substitution of materials - for example, by renewable raw materials. (NAWARO Action Plan of the BMLFUW)
  • monitoring of material flows
  • development and promotion of clean production processes
  • return and recycling systems (without funding with own funding)
  • responsibility of the producer
  • polluter pays principle

More than 2,100 collection and recycling facilities and eleven waste incineration plants with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes are in operation in Austria (Status report 2015, BMLFUW).

Austria is living its waste management: prevention previous to recycling

Österreichs gelebtes Abfallmanagement Verständnis: Vermeidung vor Verwertung Waste management in Austria –hierarchy and principles 

  • The Austrian Waste Management Act is not subsidized
    • precautionary principle
    • Europe's most advanced law of its kind
  • Public relations and public awareness initiatives  anchors waste prevention and separation in the population

Waste management – Austria ranks number 1 in recyling across Europe

70% des Siedlungsabfalls wurden 2012 in Österreich recycelt. Der höchste Wert in ganz Europa.70% of municipal waste was recycled in Austria.The highest rate in Europe.

Resources from waste:

  • Separate collection of recyclable waste streams - Biogenic waste, packaging waste, building waste, etc.

The Austrian Waste Management Act creates one of the most successful recycling systems:

  • The most successful packaging and recycling system in Europe
  • 800,000 tonnes of packaging waste are collected each year
    • 85% of the total packaging placed on the market
    • 85% become new products or packaging
    • The residues are utilized energetically (e.g. district heating)
    • Almost no landfilling
  • In 2013, 650,000t CO2 were saved by separate packaging collection alone