Waste increasing at the same rate as GDP
The total amount of waste generated in Norway in 2015 was 11.1 million tonnes, an increase of 3 per cent from 2014. As a result of new updated figures for waste from the manufacturing industry, the total amount of waste in Norway is somewhat smaller than previously calculated, but the increase is more similar to the growth in GDP.
Waste amounts have been recalculated for the years 2012 to 2014. The new figures show a small but steady increase in waste over the last few years. The increase from 2014 to 2015 was three per cent. At the same time, the value added measured by GDP (constant prices) increased by two per cent from 2014 to 2015.
Figure 1. Trends in waste and GDP (constant prices)
|GDP (1995=1)||Waste (1995=1)¹|
The recovered fraction has decreased
In 2015, the total recovery of non-hazardous waste undergoing known treatment was 77 per cent; a decrease of one per cent from 2014 and three per cent from 2012. This corresponds to 7.4 million tonnes. In 2014, 28 per cent of non-hazardous waste undergoing known treatment was energy recovered, while 36 per cent was subject to material recovery.
The waste amounts undergoing material recovery and incineration are similar. A total of 3.6 million tonnes of waste material was recovered in 2015, while 3.7 million tonnes was incinerated. While asphalt, followed by metals and paper and cardboard constitute the largest fractions for material recovery, mixed waste followed by wood waste still constitute the largest fractions for incineration.
The amounts of waste going to landfill have also increased in the last two years. In 2014, around 13 per cent of non-hazardous waste undergoing known treatment was deposited and in 2015 12 per cent was deposited. This is a slight increase from 11 and 10 per cent in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The largest ordinary waste type being deposited is cinders, dust, bottom ash and fly ash. The largest deposited fraction is hazardous waste.
Figure 2. Non-hazardous waste in Norway, by method of treatment¹. 1995 - 2015. Per cent of known handling
|Recycling and biological treatment||Incineration||Filling compound and cover material²||Landfill||Other|
Most mixed waste
The major waste material categories in 2015 were mixed waste, which had 25 per cent of the total, followed by hazardous waste with 13 per cent, and other materials (mainly asphalt) with 12 per cent. These same three categories of waste have topped the list since 2012. Wood waste used to be among the three largest waste fractions, but due to a redefinition of large amounts of production waste to by-products, the amounts of wood waste decreased to just 7 per cent of the total waste amounts in 2015.
Figure 3. Waste by type, per cent
|Wetorganic waste 4 %||4|
|Plastics 2 %||2|
|Wood Waste 7 %||7|
|Sludge 2 %||2|
|Paper and cardboard 7 %||7|
|Metals 7 %||7|
|Concrete and tiles 8 %||8|
|Cinders, dust, bottom ash and fly Ash 6 %||6|
|Discarded vehicles 2 %||2|
|Hazardous waste 13 %||13|
|Mixed Waste 25 %||25|
|Other 16 %||16|
Manufacturing no longer biggest producer of waste
The manufacturing industry used to generate the most waste of all industries. However, the waste figures in the manufacturing industry have changed considerably. The definition of by-product has been applied to the figures since 2012, which means that the figures are not comparable before and after the definition was introduced.
In 2015, the construction and demolition industry (23 per cent), followed by households (22 per cent) and the service industry (21 per cent) produced the most waste. Waste in the construction and demolition sector and the service sector has been increasing since 2012, while the amount of waste generated by private households has remained similar.
Figure 4. Waste in Norway by source¹
|Manufacturing||Construction||Service Industries||Households||Other or unspecified|
Masses for landfilling and cover materials
The amounts of slightly polluted soil that were deposited also increased from 2014 to 2015. In 2015, 1.7 million tonnes were sent to ordinary landfills and 230 000 tonnes were used as cover material. This is an increase compared to 2013 and 2014, but a small decrease compared to 2012 when a total of 2.0 million tonnes was deposited or used as cover materials.