About Avfall Norge
Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association leverages nearly 30 years of industry-specific knowledge to promote and develop socially responsible waste management policies in Norway and the European Union.
Our members are responsible for the treatment of more than 95 percent of all household waste in Norway, and represent public services and private companies. We offer training and guidance, ensure clear policies and constructive political dialogue, and initiate research and development projects to build industry capacity.
- Annual Conference: Each year we incite new ideas by gathering waste industry officials, quality assurance companies, technological institutes, environmental officers, and political leaders in our Waste Management Conference.
- Knowledge: Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association works continually to ensure best practices by offering courses and seminars throughout the year. Topics include hazardous waste management, responsible deposition, and promoting women leadership.
- Research and Development: With new challenges come great opportunities. We initiate research to better treat an increasingly complex stream of waste, bringing us closer to a circular economy.
- Mapping waste sector operations: Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association systematically compares technology and processes in the Norwegian waste companies every other year. Our benchmark analysis has become an important tool in determining the status, best practices, and projections for the sector.
Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association was formed in 1986 with the aim of coordinating and maintaining municipal interests and inter-municipal cooperation in the waste management sector. Since then, Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association has remained a competitive actor in a rapidly changing industry, and remains a nationwide resource for public services and private companies alike.
Board meetings are announced in the Events and Activities section.
Silje Marie Rosenlund, Communications Officer
Kine E. Martinussen, Communications Associate
Håkon Bratland, Scientific Advisor; Collection and Recycling
- Collection and Recycling
- Energy Recovery
- Waste Law and Regulation
- Waste Deposition
- Hazardous Waste
A Significant Industry Contribution
Over the last 30 years waste our idea of waste has been transformed from a disposable pollutant to an important raw product in manufacture and energy generation. Conversations previously concerned with recycling and resource reuse are enriched with technical discussion about disposable waste prevention, future material demand, and opportunities in circular economies.
The Norwegian waste industry ensures collection, treatment, and recycling of more than 11 tons of waste products each year. The sector employs eight thousand workers and has an annual revenue of 22 billion Norwegian Kroner (NOK).
Norway’s system has emerged from years of technical evaluations, policy briefs, and strategic considerations, of which Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association has taken an active part. Waste policies are based on the principle of waste hierarchy, and aims to treat waste as close to the source as possible. The first step is to reduce waste before the consumer opens the trashcan, by thinking creatively about product packaging and changing consumption patterns. Landfill disposal should be treated as a final, but safe, outcome.
Authorities on the municipal level are held legally responsible for proper collection and treatment of household waste. Several have chosen to delegate these tasks to inter-municipal enterprises in possession of treatment plants. Waste from industrial and business-related activities are primarily handled by private waste agencies.
Statistics Norway collects and analyses data on waste amounts, utilization, and treatment. Results from 2014 shows that approximately 83 percent of household waste was recycled, out of which 40 percent underwent material recovery. 174 000 tons of food waste and other wet-organic materials were used in composting and biogas production. All data is available to the public at Statistics Norway.
- Energy recovery is a hygienic waste treatment option which reduces total waste volume before deposition, while simultaneously producing affordable and secure sources of energy and heat.
- The process reduces greenhouse gas emissions by preventing foodstuffs from reaching landfills, as well as replacing fossil options in energy production.
- More than 50 percent the process is renewable, and is an important stepping stone to reach our common energy goals.
- The incineration process improves material recovery by leaving leftover metals in the remaining bottom ash.
There are currently 17 waste incineration plants in Norway converting 1.7 million tons of waste to energy capable of meeting the needs of 280 000 Norwegian households. The lion’s share of recovered energy goes to district heating, providing nearly 50 percent of their energy needs. However, steam from the process is also used in electricity production and in other industries.
Our work in Europe
The European Union Water Framework Directive is currently reviewing best technologies and emission caps for all energy recovery plants in Europe. EU is simultaneously developing a Waste Package to promote a circular economy, and establishing energy recovery as a stepping stone to its energy, climate, and resource goals. Waste Management Norway is weighing in on the processes through the Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP), and through our sister organizations in neighboring countries.
Our work in Norway
Nationally, Norway wants to establish energy recovery in a greater waste management framework which primarily relies on material recovery. This signifies better treatment of household waste, and minimal transportation of untreated waste out of the country. In Oslo, preliminary projects are mapping the capacity for reuse (CCR) and storage (CCS) of CO2 from waste combustion.
Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association is actively working to improve classification of bottom ash marked for landfill deposition, developing communication tools to promote energy recovery, and mapping the capacity and state of Norwegian waste incineration plants. Read more about the projects on the Energy Recovery subject group page. (In Norwegian)
Renovation Benchmarking (RBM)
Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association systematically compares technology and processes throughout the Norwegian industry every other year in a Benchmarking process. Our analysis has become an important tool in determining the status, best practices, and projections for the sector, and is instrumental to industry leadership. Our process measures environmental performance, standards of service, customer satisfaction, total fees and charges, operating efficiency, and working environment.
Participating companies benefit from an objective consideration of their operation’s competiveness, and offers a cost evaluation of implementing alternative methods and technologies. Continued participation creates a reliable measure of the company’s performance over time, and enables goal-oriented leadership.
Research and Development
Continued research and development is key to finding new solutions capable of handling an increasingly complex stream of waste. The waste sector is putting us on the path to a circular economy by facing these challenges head on. Our Research Groups initiate a handful of research projects every year to find efficient treatment options and promote public health and environmental protection.
Projects are implemented through Avfallsforsk.
Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association works to establish a meaningful common language between the waste industry, households, and political offices. Society benefits from improved insight the sector – and conversely the waste industry benefits when households correctly sort their waste at home. Our experts participate actively in political dialogue to ensure clear and concise regulations and directives.
Keep an eye out for our Waste Blog set to launch in 2016!
Collection and Recycling
Laws and Regulation
Once a waste stream has been recovered to the fullest extent, landfill deposition is a last but necessary step of waste treatment. It is crucial that remaining materials be disposed of responsibly, and stored correctly in state-of-the-art landfills according to their properties.
In 2015 Norwegian Waste Management and Recycling Association successfully advocated for the removal of the deposition fee, arguing that the fee could result in hazardous waste disappearing in upstream processes instead of being stored in specialized landfills.
We continue our work for safe landfill deposition that keeps in mind future use and repurposing.
Our members have exclusive access to our unique industry-wide knowledge platform, advisors, and research projects. We represent companies operating in Norway, but if you are an English-speaking representative in the industry, do not hesitate to request more information in your language.
For more information, please contact us at:
Øvre Vollgate 6