Negligible increase in waste from building activities
In 2014, there was a very small increase in the generation of waste from new constructions, rehabilitation and demolition activities compared to 2013. In total, 1.87 million tonnes of waste were generated in 2014 from different building activities, of which 55 per cent was sent to material recycling.
Over one third of waste from demolition activities
Thirty per cent (567 000 tonnes) of the total waste generated from building activities in 2014 came from rehabilitation activities. New construction activities generated 34 per cent (629 000 tonnes) and demolition generated the remaining 36 per cent (671 000 tonnes). Heavy building materials; mainly bricks and concrete, constituted about 43 per cent of the total waste. This includes 22 000 tonnes of slightly polluted concrete and bricks. Mixed waste constituted 17 per cent, while asphalt and wood waste made up 13 and 14 per cent of the total waste generated respectively. The amount of hazardous waste has also increased since 2013. The main fractions were materials contaminated with waste containing impregnated wood.
Large share of waste sent to waste handling facilities was recycled
The vast majority of the waste contains materials that are relatively uncontaminated and can be disposed of at landfills or reused without special environmental considerations. Some building materials do, however, contain hazardous substances, which must be properly treated.
The Waste Framework Directive in the EU (valid in Norway under the EEA agreement) sets a target of 70 per cent material recovery for non-hazardous waste from construction and demolition by 2020. It can be assumed that sorted waste materials such as metal, paper and plastics are sent for material recovery, whilst the wooden waste is most probably used for energy recovery. Waste used for backfilling operations is included in the target for material recovery.
The statistics on waste treatment are based on information from a sample of waste collectors in Norway. Fifty-five per cent of the waste was sent for recycling. Thirty one and eleven per cent of the waste was sent for energy recovery and deposit respectively. Most paper, metals, glass, gypsum, brick, concrete and other heavy building materials and EE waste were sent for recovery.