The objective of selective waste collection is the segregated collection of waste to enable its recycling and the manufacturing of new products and to avoid waste disposal in landfill or incinerators. This results in savings in energy and materials in comparison with the requirements for the manufacture of new products from original raw materials.
Selective collection has increased progressively over recent years in Catalonia (see statistics)
In general terms, the results of selective waste collection vary according to municipal characteristics, collection models and the communication campaigns undertaken. As such, the percentages of waste collected selectively vary between more than 80% in the areas where the best results are obtained and around 2-4% achieved by municipalities at the other end of the scale.
The selectively collected materials go to recycling and reuse processes. Generally, a small part of these materials is waste which is not from the same fraction and this is called contaminant waste. Therefore clean selective collection or recovered waste is the waste fractions collected minus the contaminants they contain.