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).

Waste disposal is an essential public service, as a disruption to this service would very quickly disrupt the well-being of the society. However, it should be noted that researchers have documented various health effects from living near landfills (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:

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

Data is updated on Peg as it becomes available from the data providers.


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.

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 in the Sustainable Development Goals

Click on the SDG to reveal more information

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.

Related Residential Waste Going to Recycling Targets


By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse