In profile: EU support to 
waste management


Cohesion policy's investments in waste management contribute to the transition to a circular economy. EU waste laws, supported by funding, have driven major improvements in recycling and overall waste management in nearly all Member States. Still, continued modernisation and investment in the waste sector are needed to address environmental and health concerns. Improved waste management is also an important component of socio-economic development and competitiveness, because of the many jobs in the recycling sector and the costs related to resources.
Cohesion Policy supports mainly the management of solid municipal waste. A significant number of Member States still has important needs in terms of ensuring adequate waste management in compliance with EU standards, in particular to meet the targets of the revised Waste Framework Directive and related waste legislation.  
Following the waste hierarchy, investments encompass management measures in the following priority order according to the waste hierarchy: waste prevention, re-use, recycling, energy recovery from waste (including incineration) and disposal (landfilling and incineration without energy recovery). 
Below we set out the financial support available and how we track progress in delivery investment outputs.

Explore progress with EU Financing 

Three intervention fields are tracked in terms of the volume of EU investments. 

Using the chart below you can track the progress with the 3 fields and, clicking on the bars, see the national investment efforts and programme effort.

Explore progress with delivering investment outputs

One common indictor was defined for the period 2014-2020 to measure the "annual capacity of newly built waste recycling facilities" (including the extension of existing facilities). 

The charts below show: 
  • the overall evolution of the target values, decided values and implemented values as the programme period progresses;
  • The national and programme contribution to the annual cumulative achievements.
The expectation is that the bulk of the waste recycling capacity will be built later in the period (in common with most large infrastructure that takes several years to plan, procure, build and commission).
The common indicator does not capture all eligible actions, which have many other results besides increasing recycling capacity.  Progammes also use programme-specific indicators, which cannot be aggregated. 

More information:


We are REGIO's sustainable growth team. Contact us at: 
(European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, Smart and Sustainable Growth Unit