These six countries form the world's top for recycling more than 50% of their garbage
Although garbage and waste generation have been a constant throughout history, the current situation is much more complicated than at that time. The appearance of new materials that have accustomed citizens to a use-and-throw consumption practice but that are very resistant to the passing of time, as in the case of plastic, means that waste is not simply the echo of the passing of citizens around the world but rather an environmental burden.
Therefore, it is increasingly important to implement recycling policies and accustom citizens to comply with them. However, not many countries are getting good grades on this issue. Few are the states that have achieved in recent years to reach remarkable recycling figures. Only, more or less, half a dozen countries now manage to recycle at least half of their waste.
According to data from the World Bank, only six countries manage to reach recycling levels that exceed 50%. They are, according to this statistic, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, thanks to very clear policies and a very important social work. Of the recyclable materials, Switzerland does it with 100%. Sweden stays at 99%, Austria at 63%, Germany at 62%, Belgium at 58% and the Netherlands at 51%.
Other statistics are slightly different and cover garbage in a much more general way. This is what happens with the data of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) - updated to December 2018, a few months ago - they also allow a ranking with the countries that best do their homework in recycling. According to OECD data, Germany is the country that does things best. Their statistics suggest that 68% of waste generated by German municipalities are recycled.
They are followed by South Korea (59%), Slovenia and Austria (tied at 58%), Belgium (55%) and Switzerland (51%). Other countries are positioned in a remarkable way based on data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In a 50% recycling rate are Sweden and the Netherlands, 48% in Luxembourg, 45% in Iceland and 44% in Denmark.
How they manage to convince their citizens to recycle
Whoever wins the recycling ranking, it is quite clear that both Switzerland and Germany are doing well. As they explain in the analysis of the OECD, Germany has done extensive education work in recycling with its citizens and penalizes the excess production of garbage.
For its part, Switzerland has introduced clear laws on the subject and places fines, sometimes very large, on those who skip the rules. Everything that can not be recycled becomes a source of energy through energy recovery.