17 per cent more waste in 10 years
Nature and the environment
avfregno, Waste accounts, waste, waste treatment, waste sources, types of waste, material segregation, source segregation, household waste, trade wasteWaste , Nature and the environment

Waste accounts1995-2003



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17 per cent more waste in 10 years

8.6 million tonnes of waste were thrown in Norway last year, representing a 1.2 million tonnes increase from 1995. Waste from households showed the steepest trend, with an increase of 55 per cent.

The figures in this article are based on waste statistics from 1995 to 2003 and preliminary calculations for 2004 and 2005. The preliminary calculations are based on waste statistics and economical statistics. Calculating preliminary figures two years ahead causes relatively high uncertainty. By the end of the year, Statistics Norway will provide waste statistics for 2004 and updated calculations for 2005.

Moderate growth in waste amounts

Waste amounts rose 17 per cent from 1995 to 2005. Compared to the rise in the gross domestic product (GDP) of 29 per cent in the period 1995 to 2004, the rise in waste amounts seems moderate.

Trends in waste and GDP (fixed prices). Final figures 1995 - 2003, preliminary figures 2004 - 2005 (2004). 1995 = 1.

Waste in Norway by source. Final figures 1995 - 2003, preliminary figures 2004 - 2005. 1000 tonnes.

Waste from households (including scrapped cars and burning of paper) gives the highest contribution to this rise, with an increase of 55 per cent from 1995 to 2005. An increase in everyday consumption and building activity seems the most reasonable explanations of the rise in waste amounts.

Landfills were the predominant option for waste treatment/disposal ten years ago. However, the share of the waste ending up in a landfill has declined steadily, due to a corresponding increase in recycling. Landfilling and recycling made a share of approximately 25 and 43 per cent of all waste in 2005 where the method of treatment was known. In 1995, these fractions were 45 and 31 per cent respectively. The share of waste being utilised for any purpose has now reached 67 per cent.

Five of eleven material categories in the waste account have increased more than or equal to the GDP. For the categories of plastics, textiles and paper, which can be attributed to everyday consumption, the increase from 1995 to 2005 has been 60, 36 and 33 per cent respectively. Also, the amount of waste from concrete and bricks has increased considerably. The increase of 45 per cent from 1995 to 2005 is mainly attributed to an increase in building activity. A preliminary calculated decrease in hazardous waste from 2003 to 2004 must be considered as uncertain.

Waste in Norway, by method of treatment. Final figures 1995 - 2003, preliminary figures 2004 - 2005. 1000 tonnes.

Waste in Norway, by material. Final figures 1995 - 2003, preliminary figures 2004 - 2005. 1000 tonnes.

The total amount of waste is expected to increase further towards 2010. Statistics Norway estimates the increase to about 5 per cent, which brings the waste amount close to 9 million tonnes. The estimate is based on trends in the waste statistics and economical statistics.

Evaluation of the figures

The quality of the figures is improved due to revision of the calculations, a new and better allocation of industrial waste to material and the completion of a survey of waste from the manufacturing industry.

There is still uncertainty in the figures. This applies in particular to the preliminary figures for 2005, which are projections two years ahead. However, breaks in the time series for manufacturing also causes uncertainty in the waste statistics.

Visit “ About the statistics ” for more information on data quality.

For more figures, visit StatBank Norway :

Please read our articles on:

- Household waste http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/01/05/10/avfkomm_en/

- Waste from manufacturing industres http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/01/05/20/avfind_en/ (new article expected by end of the spring)

- Building and construction waste http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/01/05/avfbygganl_en/

- Waste from service industries http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/01/05/20/avfhandel_en/

- Waste treatment http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/01/05/avfhand_en/

- Hazardous waste http://www.ssb.no/english/subjects/01/05/30/spesavf_en/

And our magazine article on Methane emissions from landfills (In norwegian only).