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  1. General facts
  2. National legislative framework
  3. National policies on waste
  4. Instruments
  5. Data on waste management
  6. National legislation on waste (selected)
  7. Competent Authorities
  8. Bibliography

1. General facts

General facts
Surface area 2 586Km²
Population (tousand inhabitans) 459.5
Population density 178 inhabitants/Km²
Average number of persons per private

Passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants** 659
GDP per capita in Purchasing Power
Standards(PPS) EU25=100

GDP per capita (Constant prices) EUR 55 015(2005)(at 1995 prices and exchange rates)
Land use*** 51.6% Agricultural land
37.0% Forests and semi-natural zones
10.4% Constructed zones (incl. roads & railways)
1.0% Water surfaces, humid zones
Household characteristics by urbanisation degree, distribution of households %(2004) 62% in densely populated areas(at least 500 inhab./km²)
26% in intermediate urbanised areas(100 - 499 inhab./km²)
11% in sparsely populated areas(less than 100 inhab/km²)
Gross value added(GVA) -
At current basic prices and current
exchange rates (% of all branches).
10.9% Industry, including energy
5.9% Construction
21.9% Trade, transport and communication services
43.1% Buisness activities and financial services
17.8% Other services
0.6% Agriculture, hunting and fishing

Source: STATEC (Statistical Institute of Luxembourg) except * Eurostat and ** Environment Ministry of Luxembourg

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2. National legislative framework

National acts/laws on waste management
Reference Main features
Law of June 17, 1994 relating to the prevention and the management of waste Article 15, provides that the cost of the waste disposal must be supported either by the holder (last or former) or by the producer of the generating product of waste I.e. polluter pays principle must be upheld.
Act of 10th June 1999 on classified establishments The objective of this Act is to:
  • ensure the integrated prevention and reduction of pollution from establishments;
  • promote sustainable development.

2.1 Summary of the legislation relevant to waste management

Luxembourg has a comprehensive set of laws and regulations for waste management based on prevention and recovery. The waste law is underpinned by a number of principles:

  1. Polluter-pays principle (the most important)
  2. Principle of information and awareness
  3. Principle of quality
  4. Proximity principle
  5. Self-sufficiency principle
  6. Principle of coherence and co-ordination
National Waste Management Plans
Period of implementation Main features
1999 - 2005
  • to minimise waste generation and waste hazardousness through prevention
  • to recover as much waste as possible
  • to minimise amounts of final waste to be managed

to introduce the principle of cost-coverage in all levels of product and waste management

National and local Waste Management Plans

By 2005, when the next update of the national waste management plan will be made, the following quantitative objectives (% by weight) should be attained for domestic waste, bulky waste and similar wastes (reference year: 1999):

waste type rate of recycling
organic wastes: rate of recycling of 75 %
packaging wastes: rate of recovery of 55 %
rate of recycling of 45 % (15 % for each packaging material)
other recoverable wastes: rate of recycling of 45 %
bulky wastes(quantity/capita): rate of reduction of 30 %
final wastes(quantity/capita): rate of reduction of 30 %
problem wastes: rate of separate collection of 70 %
Industrial and commercial waste

The sector plan for industrial and commercial waste mainly aims at the following objectives:

Inert wastes

The sector plan for inert wastes mainly aims at the following objectives:

The OECD has recommended that for Luxembourg to meet the quantified targets in the National Plan for Sustainable Development cost-effectively, enforcement of some regulations should be stepped up and economic instruments used more fully. Volumes of municipal waste are increasing under the dual impetus of population growth and rising per capita generation of waste. The polluter pays principle is applied only partially. Over half of Luxembourg’s industrial, commercial and service waste is exported. Accordingly, firms should systematically establish waste prevention and management plans, and efforts to find reliable medium- and long-term disposal capacity should be made, including through bilateral or multilateral co-operation with neighbouring regions. Substantial efforts are needed to manage hospital waste more effectively.

Transposition of landfill and incineration directives
Transposition Act/Law/decree Year of transposition Text available
Landfill directive 99/31 All of the text is in French and so I was unable to determine whether they have transposed the directive into National Law.
Landfill Decision 33/03
Incineration directive 76/00

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3. National policies on waste

Luxembourg has endorsed the polluter pays and user pays principles. In practice, however, polluters usually do not meet the costs they generate, nor do users of environmental services bear their costs. Little use is made of economic instruments to internalise negative externalities. Local authorities set charges for waste disposal and waste water treatment, which are generally low since communes as a rule meet only 10% of infrastructure investment costs. A government intention to introduce environmental taxes, first broached in 1994, has not yet been acted on.

Numerous information and awareness measures are directed at households and the commercial sector. Separate collection, covering all recoverable components, takes place throughout the country. Disposal infrastructure has been modernised and brought into line with standards.

Non-compliant facilities, such as landfills for inert waste, hospital incinerators and a national landfill for non-household waste, have been closed. Work has begun on establishing a register of polluted sites and on cleaning up former landfills and other contaminated sites. Technological change in the steel industry (conversion from blast to electric arc furnaces) has helped to reduce quantities of industrial waste, and to transform this industry into one specialising in the recovery of scrap from well beyond the country’s borders. Several other industrial sectors (glass, aluminium, construction) also use high proportions of recovered materials.

Options that are currently being explored by Luxembourg include the following:

1. Adaptation of the tax system to the new environmental, social and economic requirements The paths being explored in more detail consist of:

2. Progressive internalisation of environmental and natural resource costs in the price of goods and services

3. Exploitation of the potential incentive of public expenditure to the benefit of sustainable development

Other policies described briefly in the Luxembourg waste strategy include:

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4. Instruments

None found

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5. Development in waste generation and treatment from 1995 - 2005

Waste generation and treatment in 1000 tonnes
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Total waste generation - - - - 6934 - - - -
Municipal waste generated 240 242 253 266 278 285 285 291 306
Municipal waste landfilled 65 67 60 62 60 60 58 57 58
Biodegradable municipal waste generated *160 - - - - - - - -
Biodegradable waste landfilled - - - - - - - - -
Used tyres generated 1 3 3 3 4 4 6 4 -

Source: Eurostat Structural Indicators; except from *: EEA, 2001

Waste generation and treatment in kg per capita
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Total waste generation - - - - 16224 - - - -
Municipal waste generated 592 589 607 629 650 658 650 656 684
Municipal waste landfilled 161 163 145 146 140 138 131 129 129
Biodegradable municipal waste generated *394 - - - - - - - -
Biodegradable waste landfilled - - - - - - - - -
Used tyres generated 2 7 7 7 9 9 14 9 -

Source: Eurostat Structural Indicators except from *: EEA, 2001

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6. National legislation on waste

National regulations Exists or not (Y/N) Reference* (if available)
Landfill Not sure All of the text is in French and so I was unable to determine whether they have transposed the directive into National Law.
Incineration Not sure Same as above
BMW (Bio-degradable municipal waste) No information
Packaging No information
End-of Life Vehicles / Tyres No information
Waste of electric and electronic equipment No information
Batteries No information
Lamps No information
Construction/demolition waste No information

*Reference: type of act, title, number, year

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7. Competent authorities

This hyperlink will direct you to Competent Authorities on eionet wastebase

8. Bibliography

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