Austrian environment minister Martin Bartenstein has claimed his country to be "leading the world" in refuse separation after official statistics published last week showed a dramatic increase in separate collection rates for household wastes from 1993 to 1996. The increase follows the introduction of two national laws on packaging and organic wastes in 1993. Nearly half of all household waste is now separated, according to the Austrian environment ministry. Collection rates for individual material streams went up as follows: plastics by 900%, organic waste by 97%, textiles by 50%, metals by 43%, paper by 26% and glass by 8%. The amount of household waste sent for final disposal dropped by 13%, while the amount of collected waste recycled increased by 32%. Under the packaging law, Austria has targeted an 80% recycling rate for collected material by 2000.
Austrian environment ministry, tel: +43 1 51522.
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