Hazardous waste

Updated: 5 December 2023

Next update: Not yet determined

Hazardous waste sent for approved treatment in
Hazardous waste sent for approved treatment in
million tonnes
Hazardous waste for approved treatment, by material. 1 000 tonnes
Hazardous waste for approved treatment, by material. 1 000 tonnes
201820212022Change in per cent
2018 - 20222021 - 2022
Total1 6701 6991 87612.310.4
Waste containing oil617452538-12.819.0
Waste containing solvents44516752.331.4
Other organic waste6511711678.5-0.9
Waste containing heavy metals, polluted matter55662864015.11.9
Corrosive waste26826330814.917.1
Other inorganic hazardous wastes181515-16.70.0
Processing water73171187156.29.4
Photo chemicals000..
Nonclassified hazardous waste2913-89.7200.0
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Hazardous waste sent to approved facility, by economic activity. 1 000 tonnes.
    Hazardous waste sent to approved facility, by economic activity. 1 000 tonnes.
    Total1 6701 6441 7111 6991 876
    Agriculture, hunting and forestry01000
    Mining and quarrying297266329290368
    Manufacturing industries895859797822899
    Electricity and water supply4045343435
    Service industries11098118106117
    Sewerage, waste management and remediation activities198226279296323
    Unknown source010000
    Explanation of symbols
  • Hazardous waste treated by approved means, by treatment. Import and export of hazardous waste. 1000 tonnes.
    Hazardous waste treated by approved means, by treatment. Import and export of hazardous waste. 1000 tonnes.1
    Total1 6701 6441 7111 6991 876
    Material recovery313278253183270
    Incinieration with energy recovery254323264248252
    Final treatment or disposal1 0509901 0021 1671 174
    Stock changes5353191100179
    1Waste treated in several steps are only counted once. Exported waste is included in the different treatment categories above (as opposed to import).
    Explanation of symbols
  • Hazardous waste to known treatment, by material. 1000 tonnes.
    Hazardous waste to known treatment, by material. 1000 tonnes.
    Waste containing oil23821836
    Waste containing solvents21101
    Other organic hazardous wastes35576
    Waste containing heavy metals, polluted matter34200
    Corrosive waste00000
    Other inorganic hazardous wastes00000
    Processing water00000
    Photo chemicals00000
    Nonclassified hazardous waste00000
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

Hazardous waste is a set of statistics which describes the different materials of hazardous waste, its treatment and its sources.

The information under «About the statistics» was last updated 4 December 2023.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste, handling and treatment are defined in the Regulation on recycling and treatment of waste (Waste Regulation § 11).

The amount of hazardous waste for approved treatment in the statistics only includes hazardous waste that has arisen in Norway. This means that exported hazardous waste is included in the amount for approved treatment, while imports are excluded (corrected away from the data basis). The quantities are also adjusted so that waste that is treated in several stages is only counted once.

Material means substances with relatively similar physical and chemical principle qualities. In this context, principal quality means the most hazardous quality classifying the material as hazardous waste. The classification by material is an aggregation of waste numbers (NS 9431, see conversion table in appendix 1).

The industries are classified according to the revised Norwegian Standard for Industrial Classification (SN2007), which is based on the EU's industrial standard NACE Rev. 2.

The classification by treatment builds on NS 9431, but with the following adjustment: Final treatment or disposal includes all types of landfills, permanent storages, incineration without energy recovery, and other treatment operations not recovering any of the waste's resources and producing only non-hazardous treatment products.

Transition key between material and waste number

Waste number

Type of waste



Waste oil, with repayment

Oil containing waste


Waste oil, without repayment

Oil containing waste


Waste oil or grease

Oil containing waste


Oil contaminated matter

Oil containing waste


Fuel and fuel oil

Oil containing waste


Oil filters

Oil containing waste


Waste consisting of, containing or contaminated with crude oil or condensate.

Oil containing waste


Oil emulsions and slop water

Oil containing waste


Oil emulsions from drillfloor

Oil containing waste


Organic solvents, halogenated

Waste containing solvents


Organic solvents non halogenated

Waste containing solvents


Paints, glues and varnishes

Waste containing solvents


Spray cans

Waste containing solvents


Waste containing mercury

Waste containing heavy metals


Batteries containing mercury

Waste containing heavy metals


Waste containing cadmium

Waste containing heavy metals


Batteries containing cadmium

Waste containing heavy metals



Waste containing heavy metals


Flourescent tubes and energy-saving light bulbs

Waste containing heavy metals


Inorganic salts and other solid matter

Waste containing heavy metals


Lead accumulators

Waste containing heavy metals


Small batteries, unsorted

Waste containing heavy metals


Lithium batteries

Waste containing heavy metals


Metal hydroxide sludges

Waste containing heavy metals


Slag, dust, fly ash, catalysts, blasting sand, etc.

Waste containing heavy metals


Inorganic solutions and baths

Waste containing heavy metals


CCA-treated wood

Waste containing heavy metals


Waste containing cyanides

Other inorganic hazardous waste


Pesticides not containing mercury

Other organic hazardous waste


Pesticides containing mercury

Other organic hazardous waste


Polymerising substances, isocyanates

Other inorganic hazardous waste


Highly reactive substances

Other inorganic hazardous waste


Hardeners, organic peroxides

Other organic hazardous waste


Acids, inorganic

Corrosive waste


Bases, inorganic

Corrosive waste



Corrosive waste


Acid organic waste

Corrosive waste


Basic organic waste

Corrosive waste


Oil based drilling fluids

Oil containing waste


Cuttings with oil based drilling fluids

Oil containing waste


Water based drilling fluids containing dangerous substances

Oil containing waste


Cuttings with water based drilling fluids containing dangerous substances

Oil containing waste


Organic waste containing halogens

Other organic hazardous waste


Organic waste not containing halogens

Other organic hazardous waste


Creosote-treated wood

Other organic hazardous waste


Waste containing brominated flame retardants

Other organic hazardous waste

7156Waste containing phtalates

Other organic hazardous waste

7157Discarded insulation containing environmentally harmful blowing agents such as CFC and HCFCs

Other organic hazardous waste

7158Insulating glass units containing chloroparaffins

Other organic hazardous waste

7159Waste containing chloroparaffins

Other organic hazardous waste


Contaminated waste water

Contaminated waste water


PCB- and PCT-containing waste

Other organic hazardous waste


Windows containing PCBs

Other organic hazardous waste






Other organic hazardous waste



Other organic hazardous waste



Other inorganic hazardous waste

7261Gases in pressure containers

Other organic hazardous waste

7990*, 7999*

Other or unknown hazardous waste

Other or unknown materials

*Not standard code according to Norwegian standard, but generated for technical reasons.

Name of waste groups conversion between waste groups and waste numbers

The waste groups are given by the two intermediate digits of the waste numbers (appendix 1).

Waste group

Type of waste


Waste oil


Other oil containing waste


Stable oil emulsions


Solvents, organic


Paint, adhesives, varnish, etc.


Mercury and cadmium


Other waste containing heavy metals




Pesticides etc.


Iso-cyanates etc.


Corrosive waste


Oil drilling waste


Other very toxic, toxic, or environmentally harmful waste


Processing water




Photo chemicals








Gases in pressure containers


Other hazardous waste

Name: Hazardous waste
Topic: Nature and the environment

Not yet determined

Division for Energy, Environmental and Transport Statistics



Statistics Norway (SSB) reports the statistics to the following international organizations:

  • Eurostat (Regulation 2150/2002 on waste statistics)
  • OECD/Eurostat (Joint Questionnaire)

Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.

Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.

The main purpose of the hazardous waste statistics is to provide a comprehensive overview of the amounts of hazardous waste in Norway divided by type of industry, treatment and material. It addition it should also provide updated estimates on hazardous waste for which the method of handling is unknown.

Originally the statistics on hazardous waste sent for external treatment or export was carried out by the organisation called Norsas (Norwegian Resource Centre for Waste Management and Recycling). They started up with the task in 1989, assigned by the Norwegian Environment Agency.

In 1994, Norsas estimated the total amount of hazardous waste in Norway and concluded that 30 000 tonnes were handled in unknown ways. This estimate stayed until 2002, when Statistics Norway published its first hazardous waste statistics for the reference year 1999. Since that time statistics of hazardous waste has been an annual publication in Statistics Norway.

In 2004, Statistics Norway carried out a new survey on the treatment of hazardous waste. Treatment companies constituted the sample group, and the reference year was 2003. Before that time the treatment dimension was not part of the statistics.

In 2015, electronic declaration of hazardous waste (avfallsdeklarering.no) was established by the Norwegian Environment Agency, and data previously collected through NorBas and the Battery Register are now instead reported to the declaration system. This now constitutes one of the primary sources for the basic data for hazardous waste statistics.

The figures are used by Norwegian Environment Agency in compilations of key figures used in the reports to the Storting on the state of the environment. The figures constitute the main source for Norway's reporting of hazardous waste statistics to Eurostat and the OECD. In addition, the statistics on hazardous waste constitute an integrated part of the waste account for Norway.

No external users have access to statistics before they are released at 8 a.m. on ssb.no after at least three months’ advance notice in the release calendar. This is one of the most important principles in Statistics Norway for ensuring the equal treatment of users.

The statistics of hazardous waste is input into the following statistics:

In addition, hazardous waste is also mentioned in the Waste from households, although the data source differs here.

It is also regularly reported to Eurostat and OECD, and is therefore also part of international statistics and comparisons.

The statistics are developed, produced and disseminated pursuant to Act no. 32 of 21 June 2019 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway (the Statistics Act).

Regulation (EC) No 2150/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2002 on waste statistics

The statistics include hazardous waste as defined by the Waste regulation, §11-3, which entered into force on 24 June 2004.

Notice that EE-waste, contagious wast and end-of-life vehichles are not included in the hazardous waste statistics.

Hazardous waste for approved treatment

Hazardous waste for approved treatment is built around two data aggregations – the Foundation database and Treatment survey – and each of them consist of several sub-datasources:

  • Foundation database (Grunnlagsdatabasen)
    • Electronic declarations of hazardous waste (earlier NorBas + Batteriregisteret)
    • Forurensning – self-treatment in the manufacturing industry (earlier Inkosys)
    • Export of hazardous Waste
  • Treatment survey (Behandlingsundersøkelsen)
    • Forurensning
      • Treatment of hazardous waste («Hovedundersøkelsen»)
      • Self-treatment in the manufacturing industry (earlier Inkosys)
    • Energy consumption in the manufacturing industry
    • Waste treatment survey (Avfallshåndteringsundersøkelsen)
    • Import and export of hazardous Waste

The Foundation database consist of mainly producers of hazardous waste, while the Treatment survey includes waste amounts received and treated at the treatment plants.

Data input has changed somewhat during the start-up of the hazardous waste statistics in 1999 (as explained below).

Foundation database

In 1999, the Foundation database was built up from four different registers: the declaration database (NorBas) covering literally all hazardous waste handed in for approved treatment in Norway, which is administered by Norsas and owned by the Norwegian Environment Agency, Forurensning (which means pollution, previously named Inkosys - the manufacturing industry's self-reporting system covering hazardous waste treated on site) and the Import/export-database administered and owned by the Norwegian Environment Agency, and a register on collected batteries (Batteriregisteret) administered and owned by AS Batteriretur. Data from these four registers were collected and processed by SSB.

In 2015 however the electronic declarations system was established and that datasource now covers data that previously came from NorBas and Batteriregisteret.

Documentation report (in Norwegian only: grunnlagsdatabasen (pdf)).

Treatment survey

The main data source in this context is a survey of Norwegian treatment enterprises (Hovedundersøkelsen), which is a census covering all existing plants with a treatment permit from the Norwegian Environment Agency. The data collection started out in 2003 as a Statistics Norway survey, but f the reference year 2012 and onwards the Norwegian Environment Agency took over the data collection by their Klifinn data collection portal. It is done in cooperation with Statistics Norway, and the data are shared.

The amount of hazardous waste collected and treated in the reference year is reported according to waste groups by the enterprises. The data from Hovedundersøkelsen are complemented with data on incineration of used oils from the survey "Energy use in the manufacturing sector", on hazardous waste disposed of at treatment plants for ordinary waste from the survey "Waste treatment and disposal", hazardous waste treated on site from the register Forurensning, and imported and exported waste from the Import/export-database.

Documentation report (in Norwegian only: behandlingsundersøkelsen (pdf)).

Unknown handling

The amount of hazardous waste, for which the method of handling is unknown, is calculated by different methods. Parts of the amount are calculated by material. These calculations are based on Statistics Norway's figures on external trade and manufacturing, literature (among others the Norwegian Pollution Authority 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003a, PCB-sanering 2004, Norsas 2004 and Evans 2001), and telephone contact and meetings with central parties. The remaining is principally calculated by industry. Hazardous waste amounts with unknown handling from the different industries are residuals derived from the Foundation database and Statistics Norway's Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises (VoF).

Statistics Norway do not provide figures on total generated amount of hazardous waste. The reason is that a substantial fraction of the amount of hazardous waste defined as unknown handling is believed to in part be covered by the figures on hazardous waste going to approved treatment. However, the fraction is not known.

Parts of the data are collected by questionnaires to treatment enterprises. Some data are collected through special inquiries to persons with special competences within different industries or material groups, while the remaining data are collected from existing registers and literature.

The information acquired from the Treatment survey has been checked against corresponding data from the previous years. The identity of the establishments in the Foundation database is automatically and manually controlled against the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises. The waste classification in Forurensning and the Import/export-database is translated manually from LoW, the Y-list and OECD's waste codes to waste numbers (Norwegian standard 9431). The calculated amounts are controlled against available literature where available. The part of export coming from Norwegian waste collectors is removed from the Import/export-database before use in the Foundation database to avoid double counting. Additionally all import is removed. Incineration of used oil on site is removed from Forurensning before use in the Treatment survey to avoid double counting.

The treatment survey serves as a control of the registers and vice versa.

Hazardous waste going to approved treatment is calculated through the collocation and aggregation of data from the Treatment survey and the Foundation database. The Treatment survey is used to distribute the amount of hazardous waste treated as approved by material and type of treatment. The Foundation database is used to distribute the waste by industry. The total amount treated as approved is calculated from either of the two showing the highest amount, as under-reporting until now has been the dominating source of error. The figures reported to the Treatment survey are corrected by means of the Import/export-database if the figures are reported to include import and export of hazardous waste. They are also adjusted if the same amount of waste is treated more than once in the waste chain, by means of reported figures on the amount of treated hazardous waste sent on to another treatment enterprise as hazardous waste for further treatment.

Hazardous waste with unknown handling is mainly calculated by material from the following equation:

au = SUM((f n c) - aa)

au = amount to unknown handling. f = factor for the amount of hazardous waste of a certain material generated per unit. n = number of units. Examples of such units are tonnes of lubrication oil sold in 1999, scrapped cars, tonnes of PCB in PCB-containing concrete, etc. c = correction factor. For instance used to adjust for water and other contaminants in the calculations of oil containing hazardous waste. aa = amount to approved handling.

The constants f and c are collected from the literature and through specific inquiries to specialists. The number n is also derived from literature and inquires, but in addition to that, Statistics Norway's statistics on trade, external trade and manufacturing also constitute an important information source.

In part, hazardous waste for which the method of method of handling is unknown is calculated by industry through extrapolation of the amounts entering approved handling. The amounts delivered from the different businesses will then constitute the foundation for estimating the amounts not delivered. It is assumed that all (or a certain part of) the businesses generate waste every year. An inflation factor is assessed in each individual case and comprises either man-year or number of establishments. Some amounts are collected directly from the literature or phone calls to specialists.

Not relevant

Employees of Statistics Norway have a duty of confidentiality.

Statistics Norway does not publish figures if there is a risk of the respondent’s contribution being identified. This means that, as a general rule, figures are not published if fewer than three units form the basis of a cell in a table or if the contribution of one or two respondents constitutes a very large part of the cell total.

Statistics Norway can make exceptions to the general rule if deemed necessary to meet the requirements of the EEA agreement, if the respondent is a public authority, if the respondent has consented to this, or when the information disclosed is openly accessible to the public.

More information can be found on Statistics Norway’s website under Methods in official statistics, in the ‘Confidentiality’ section.

The definition of what to include as hazardous waste varies with time. Several waste types previously classified as non-hazardous, are reclassified as hazardous waste today. This applies to for instance impregnated wood, CRT-glass containing heavy metals, plastics from electrical and electronic equipment containing brominated flame-retardants and eternite (asbestos cement), which became hazardous waste from 2003. This made an increase in the total amount of generated hazardous waste from 2002 to 2003 of about 70 000 tonnes, without reflecting a corresponding increase in negative effects on the environment.

Data sources

Two main sources of measurement errors are inherent in the Treatment survey:

1. Underreporting. A study of the Foundation database, the Treatment survey and micro data from the Manufacturing survey 2003 indicates a substantial underreporting in the two first-mentioned data sources that year, supporting the assumption that parts of the increase in the figures for hazardous waste treated by approved means is a result of improved data collection.

The problem of underreporting has apparently reduced the last couple of year, and particularly after the introduction of electronic declaration in 2015. Thus, the Foundation base and the Treatment survey show less deviation now than before.

2. Treatment at enterprises outside the population. The population is limited to only include enterprises with official treatment permit. There also exist businesses with the permission to collect, and sometimes they are permitted to carry out minor pre-treatment processes, resulting in for example weight reduction or alteration of chemical characteristics (and thus, classification of a particular hazardous waste).

Weight reduction is of major importance when water is separated from oil-containing waste, such as slop water and waste oil.

There is also a possibility that mixing similar types of waste where re-packing takes place, eventually could affect the accuracy of the figures on a detailed level.

The following circumstances have been taken into account:

1. Changes in storage. Changes in storage have been taken into account by requesting figures on both received and treated amounts.

2. The treatment of hazardous waste in several steps. The treatment of hazardous waste in several steps at different treatment enterprises have been accounted for by requesting figures on the amount of treatment product sent on to another treatment enterprise as hazardous waste for further treatment. This amount is then subtracted from the amount received by the enterprises.

Origin of hazardous waste

The amounts by industry are based on register data, which also may contain errors. This is mainly due to the infrastructure in the handling and registration of hazardous waste. The municipalities are responsible for offering the households a free delivery/removal of hazardous waste. The hazardous waste from households is thus registered on the local authorities. Separate estimations have been made to link this waste to the households in the statistics.

Moreover, the municipalities are obliged to offer small and medium sized establishments solutions for the delivery of hazardous waste. However, the establishments must pay a fee and register the hazardous waste in their own name. Some municipalities have introduced exceptions from this rule. There also exist clear indications that small sized establishments delivering hazardous waste to the system may pretend to be private persons. Thus the hazardous waste delivered from these establishments is erroneously linked to the municipality, and in the next turn to the households.

Moreover it is common in certain industries that the refuse collectors (classified as either service industries or waste management), in part also the construction industry, are given responsibility for the hazardous waste when collecting it and thereby registering it in their own name.

It is also common for petrol stations to receive small amounts of waste oil from private persons and small establishments (for example farms). It is hence difficult to estimate the exact uncertainty arising from this, but it must be assumed that the percentage waste amounts from the building and construction industry and agriculture and forestry are considerably underestimated. It must also be assumed that waste management and private households are slightly overestimated, but as a percentage this error is of minor significance as the amount of hazardous waste registered from these sectors is much larger. In the service industries the uncertainty can move in both directions.

More recently, in the start-up of electronic declaration it was also for a short time period opened up for treatment facilities to take care of the declaration for its customers, and thus some deviation may be expected from that.

Unknown handling

The amount of hazardous waste going to unknown handling is intended to be a measure of how much hazardous waste that in a worst case might have been discarded in the nature. The uncertainty in this amount therefore impacts the amount of hazardous waste that we can estimate as released to the nature each year. The uncertainty arises from a vast of different sub-calculations, with some having a quite high uncertainty. An even bigger contribution to the uncertainty stems from the underreporting of hazardous waste to the registers. This waste is also allocated to the category unknown handling, until we can tell with adequate confidence that the waste has entered approved treatment.

Because oil-containing waste makes up such large amounts of the hazardous waste for which the method of treatment is unknown, a great deal of uncertainty relates to this waste type.

Import and export

Norwegian waste statistics, hazardous waste included, is built upon a Norwegian standard called “Classification of waste” (NS 9341).

Import and export data, however, is classified according to the European waste list (EAL). In order for these data to be used in the statistics they have to be “recoded” into the Norwegian classification system. There is not a one:one relationship between the two, and thus, there is a possibility that in the process the data may be linked wrongly (and uncertainty may arise). The recoding is done by Statistics Norway.

Not relevant