Residential Waste Going to Recycling


Waste going to recycling measures the amount of stuff that is diverted to a recycling facility. The graphs show the average number of kilograms per person over a year.

Why This Matters

Data on the amount of residential waste going to landfill can help identify increases or decreases in landfill use. These changes could relate to waste diversion, such as recycling, composting and reuse, as well as changes such as overall decreases in total materials produced (e.g., due to such measures as decreased packaging). Diverting waste from landfills has important environmental benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gases (primarily methane and carbon dioxide) and increasing the conservation of resources through reuse and recycling (Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), 2009). For instance, landfills were the third largest human-related source of methane, a major greenhouse gas, in the United States in 2009 (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2011).

This indicator is connected to the built environment. Waste disposal is an important public service (United Nations, 2011). A disruption of this service would very quickly disrupt the well-being of the society.

While waste management is essential, it should be noted that various health effects from living near landfills have been documented (Vrijheid, 2000). Such concerns suggest that waste diversion options, such as recycling, composting, reusing and careful disposal or recycling of hazardous wastes should be pursued.

Measurements Limitations 

This indicator measures the number of tonnes of residential waste that goes to landfill each year per capita.

Residential waste is defined as garbage generated by both single-family households and multi-family buildings; institutional, commercial, industrial, construction and demolition waste are not included in this measure (FCM, 2009). Residential waste that does not enter landfills and is not diverted is not included either. For instance, garbage which is burned, enters wastewater, or disposed of illegally (e.g., dumped in waterways or natural areas) is not included.

Data Source

The data are provided by the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department, compiled on an annual basis and available on their website.

Residential garbage data can be found at:

The most recent data for this indicator was made available in 2016. This data is updated bi-annually, as the data becomes available.

More detail about this indicator can be found in Peg’s 2017 Wellbeing Report on the Natural and Built Environment:


Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). (2009). Getting to 50% and beyond: Waste diversion success stories from Canadian municipalities. Retrieved from

Pichtel, J. (2005). Waste management practices: Municipal, hazardous and industrial. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group.

United Nations. (2011). New initiative to aid local governments in managing growing waste problem. Retrieved from

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Inventory of US greenhouse gas emissions and sinks: 1990-2009. Retrieved from:

Vrijheid, M. (2000). Health effects of residence near hazardous waste landfill sites: A review of epidemiologic literature. Environmental Health Perspectives, 108, 101-112.

Residential Waste Going to Recycling

Waste going to recycling measures the amount of material that is diverted to a recycling facility. The graph shows the average number of kgs per capita within a year.

Residential Waste Going to Recycling Sustainable Development Goals

12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.

Sustainable consumption and production aims at “doing more and better with less,” increasing net welfare gains from economic activities by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole lifecycle, while increasing quality of life. It involves different stakeholders, including business, consumers, policy makers, researchers, scientists, retailers, media, and development cooperation agencies, among others.

It also requires a systemic approach and cooperation among actors operating in the supply chain, from producer to final consumer. It involves engaging consumers through awareness-raising and education on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing consumers with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others.

13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow.

People are experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea level, and more extreme weather events. The greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are driving climate change and continue to rise. They are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century and is likely to surpass 3 degrees Celsius this century—with some areas of the world expected to warm even more. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.

Affordable, scalable solutions are now available to enable countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies. The pace of change is quickening as more people are turning to renewable energy and a range of other measures that will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts.

But climate change is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. Emissions anywhere affect people everywhere. It is an issue that requires solutions that need to be coordinated at the international level and it requires international cooperation to help developing countries move toward a low-carbon economy.

To address climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at the COP21 in Paris on 12 December 2015. The Agreement entered into force shortly thereafter, on 4 November 2016. In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. You can learn more about the agreement here.

Implementation of the Paris Agreement is essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and provides a roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

See which countries have signed it and which ones have deposited their ratification instruments.