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Waste Accounts

Waste accounts record how much waste is generated in different parts of the economy, what kind of waste it is and how it is treated. Imports and exports of waste are also covered. The waste accounts build on data from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and were published for the first time in 2015. Municipal waste by municipality, treatment form and waste type is compiled in 2023.

Statistical presentation

Waste accounts measure the amounts of generated waste distributed to 117 industry groups. Within the industry groups, waste is distributed according to categories and forms of treatment. Imports and exports of waste are distributed according to form of treatment and waste category. The waste accounts are published annually and disseminated through a press release and tables in the StatBank.

The statistics is part of the Environmental-Economic Accounts for Denmark (Green National Accounts).

Municipal waste by municipality, treatment form and waste type is compiled in 2023.

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Statistical processing

Waste data are validated in the Danish Environmental Protection Agency before Statistics Denmark receives them. The data processing in Statistics Denmark primarily concerns the detailed and complete distribution of the waste to the 117 industry groups of the Green National Accounts.

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Waste accounts are of relevance for administrative bodies, researchers, NGOs, businesses, the educational sector and individuals - all with interests in waste, resources, economic-environmental interactions, the circular economy etc. To ensure international comparability, the waste accounts are prepared according to the UN statistical standard SEEA (System of Environmental Economic Accounting) 2012.

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Accuracy and reliability

The quality is good concerning the figures for total amounts of waste as well as the amounts for different forms of treatment. The distribution of waste according to categories also has a good quality, even if it is most reliable at the aggregated level. At more detailed level, the precision is less due to measurement errors (in the reporting).

The detailed distribution according to industry groups is less precise. This stems from errors in the source data (measurement errors from the reporting) as well as from the assumptions made in the distribution of waste to detailed industry groups.

Waste by individual municipalities is less precise than totals for the municipality groups. This stems from the data source, and can be linked to waste from one municipality being treated at a facility in a different municipality, waste stations being used by inhabitants of several different municipalities etc.

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Timeliness and punctuality

Publication of the waste accounts was on time, 23 months after the end of the reference period. The long production time is due to the dependence on data from the Environmental Agency.

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The methods and data sources for the Waste Accounts are unchanged throughout the period covered by published figures. International comparison is possible with all other waste accounts based on UN's statistical standard SEEA 2012.

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Accessibility and clarity

These statistics are published yearly in a Danish press release and in the StatBank under Waste Accounts.

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