Data collection

Goal: Collect almost all the necessary data first, before processing it in any way.

Situation: By beginning the UCA, you are starting to find out what kind of data you need and where which of it can be found. You need to organise it all first and can do so with the help of the templates, see “Part 1a: Material Flow Accounting” > “Tools”. The reason for doing all the data collection in one step, is to assess completeness of data for the city and therefore also identify gaps. (These can then be filled with downscaling calculations as part of the Data processing.) The more comprehensive and accurate the data, the better the potential for a good understanding of the municipality and circularity assessment.


After defining the system and its boundaries, data needs to be collected accordingly for the processes and flows included in the system. The processes that are included in the MFA on the input side range from domestic extraction, imports and exports, to domestic material consumption. For the output side, the processes are the various different waste treatments subdivided by six treatment types: landfill disposal, deposit unto or into land, land treatment and release into water bodies, incineration/disposal, incineration with energy recovery, and recovery other than energy recovery.

Overall, preference is given to local, accurate and more recent data. If local data is not available, then Eurostat and EW-MFA data (env_ac_mfa) from the country level can be used or other regional data can be translated to the EW-MFA nomenclature and then be downscaled. It should be noted that if downscaling is needed, proxy data need to be collected as well. This holds true for waste data too.

From now on, you can follow the steps related to data collection, as shown in the scheme. Make sure to work in the excel spreadsheet template “A. Data collection” and upload collect data to the CityLoops Data Hub, if you wish to visualise your data and possibly write your UCA report there.

Step 1: Select if materials are extracted, imported and/or exported

Step 2: Determine if data from the SCA can be reused

Step 3: Find local data to satisfy your data needs

Step 4a: If you don’t have or can’t find local data, try to use provided data sources

Step 7: Determine which waste treatment methods exist within your municipal boundaries

Step 8: Determine if you have data for the waste categories and fill in the amounts