Does Vienna have the answer to Europe’s waste problem?

One country that usually scores very well in the European waste management table is Austria.

In the capital Vienna, each building complex has its own bins for paper, for general waste, and often also for organic waste. Recycling bins for glass, metal and plastic packaging can be found on street corners in Vienna.

But according to EU statistics, only one-third of plastic packaging waste is recycled in Austria, which is a problem because Austria has one of the highest amounts of plastic waste per capita in the European Union.

In fact, the recycling rate in Austria has even fallen slightly in the last 10 years: while the recycling rate in 2008 was still significantly above the EU average, Austria has been below the EU average since 2013.

At Vienna’s architecturally impressive incinerator, some of the things the locals have thrown away are saved and sold in an on-site store, where shoppers can pick up bargains – treasure from other people’s trash.

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