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spesavf, Hazardous waste, waste treatment, type of waste, special waste, waste sourcesPollution and climate, Waste , Nature and the environment, Nature and the environment, Svalbard

Hazardous waste


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Key figures


million tonnes of hazardous waste are annually sent for approved treatment

Hazardous waste for approved treatment, by material. 1000 tonnes
201620152012Change in per cent
2015 - 20162012 - 2016
Total1 4821 4081 2045.323.1
Waste containing oil492536538-8.2-8.6
Waste containing solvents323331-3.03.2
Other organic waste516733-23.954.5
Waste containing heavy metals, polluted matter53644736119.948.5
Corrosive waste248286199-13.324.6
Other inorganic hazardous wastes121189.150.0
Processing water912734237.0167.6
Photo chemicals011-100.0-100.0
Nonclassified hazardous waste2100..

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Table 1 
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 2041 2381 3431 4081 482
Agriculture, hunting and forestry11110
Mining and quarrying461371344360381
Manufacturing industries482539619568618
Electricity and water supply2739353143
Service industries9395119114127
Sewerage, waste management and remediation activities74788274175
Unknown source658711720

Table 2 
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
1Waste treated in several steps are only counted once. Exported waste is included in the different treatment categories above (as opposed to import).
Total1 2041 2381 3431 4081 482
Material recovery198217313199256
Incinieration with energy recovery208255267256262
Final treatment or disposal7948307941 021957
Stock changes5-65-31-688

Table 3 
Hazardous waste to known treatment, by material. 1000 tonnes.

Hazardous waste to known treatment, by material. 1000 tonnes.
Waste containing oil23381429
Waste containing solvents11111
Other organic hazardous wastes212218165
Waste containing heavy metals, polluted matter73420
Corrosive waste00000
Other inorganic hazardous wastes00000
Processing water00000
Photo chemicals43323
Nonclassified hazardous waste00000

About the statistics

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


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Hazardous waste, handling and treatment are defined in the Waste regulation of 24 June 2004, §11-3 b), d) and g).

Standard classifications

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 EU Regulation 2150/2002 on waste statistics, which is derived from NACE Rev 1.

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


Trichloroethene, with repayment

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


Drilling mud and drill cuttings based on mineral oil

Oil containing 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

7156 Waste containing phtalates

Other organic hazardous waste

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

Other organic hazardous waste

7158 Insulating glass units containing chloroparaffins

Other organic hazardous waste

7159 Waste 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

7261 Gases in pressure containers

Other organic hazardous waste


Other or unknown hazardous waste

Other or unknown materials


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

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Hazardous waste
Topic: Nature and the environment

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Energy, Environmental and Transport Statistics

Regional level


Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

Eurostat (EU regulation 2150/2002 on waste statistics) OECD/Eurostat (Joint Questionnaire)


Basic data and calculations are stored in SAS and UNIX.


Background and purpose

Statistics on hazardous waste sent for external treatment or export has been prepared by Norsas (Norwegian Resource Centre for Waste Management and Recycling) since 1989 on behalf of the Norwegian Environment Agency. In 1994, Norsas calculated the total amount of hazardous waste in Norway and concluded that 30 000 tonnes were handled in unknown ways. This estimate was used until 2002, when Statistics Norway published its hazardous waste statistics for the first time for the reference year 1999. 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.

The main purpose of the hazardous waste statistics is to:

  • Provide a comprehensive and simplistic overview of the amounts of hazardous waste in Norway divided by type of industry, treatment and material.
  • Provide updated figures on hazardous waste for which the method of handling is unknown.

Users and applications

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.

Equal treatment of users

Not relevant

Coherence with other statistics

The statistics are to a certain extent comparable with statistics compiled by Norsas in 1996. Hazardous waste statistics of the manufacturing industries are calculated from the Manufacturing Industry Waste Survey from 1999. The hazardous waste statistics constitute an intrinsic part of the Norwegian waste account. It is also regularly reported to Eurostat and OECD, and is therefore also part of international statistics and comparisons.

Legal authority

The Statistics Act of 16 June 1989 No. 54

EEA reference

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.

Data sources and sampling

The figures on hazardous waste that goes to approved treatment are for the years 1999-2002 and 2009-12 based on four different registers: the declaration database (NorBas) covering ideally 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 administered and owned by AS Batteriretur. These four registers are collected and processed by SSB (see section 5.1) to one database, henceforth called the Foundation database. Documentation in  http://www.ssb.no/natur-og-miljo/artikler-og-publikasjoner/grunnlagsdatabasen (Norwegian only).

However for the reference years 2003-08 the Treatment survey has been used as the principal source for the amount of hazardous waste going to treatment by approved means. The main source here is a survey of Norwegian treatment enterprises, which is a census covering all existing plants with a treatment permit from the Norwegian Environment Agency. The datacollection started out in 2003 as a Statistics Norway survey, but for the reference year 2012 the the Norwegian Environment Agency took over the datacollection by their Klifinn internet portal. The amount of hazardous waste collected and treated in the reference year is reported according to waste group by the enterprises. The data from the main source 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 in  http://www.ssb.no/natur-og-miljo/artikler-og-publikasjoner/behandling-av-farlig-avfall (Norwegian only).

Data from the Treatment survey and the Foundation database are compiled to provide figures on approved treatment divided by material, type of treatment and industry.

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.

In this publication, Statistics Norway has not provided figures on total generated amount of hazardous waste. The reason is that a substantial fraction of the amount of hazardous waste handled in unknown ways is believed to be covered by the figures on hazardous waste going to approved treatment. However, the fraction is not known.

All enterprises with establishments holding a permit for treating hazardous waste are included in the Treatment survey.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

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.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


The figures have been aggregated to levels that ensure the confidentiality of the respondents.

Comparability over time and space

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.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

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

1. Underreporting. In 2003 the treatment facilities reported about 35 000 tonnes more hazardous waste than the amount registered in the Foundation database. In 2006 this difference was increased to 194 000 tonnes. The authorities, who own the registers, are aware that underreporting in the Foundation database may increase the amount of hazardous waste handled in unknown ways. They aim at reducing this amount. Hence, we assume that the increased difference between the two data sources is due to improved data collection in the Treatment survey from 2003 to 2006, and not increased underreporting to the Foundation database in the same period. From 2006 to 2008 this difference declined to 120 000 tonnes, and in 2010 the Foundation database showed 74 000 tonnes more hazardous waste than the Treatment survey, indicating good data quality in the two data sources (see pt. 2).

A study of the Foundation database, the Treatment survey and micro data from the Manufacturing survey 2003 indicates a substantial underreporting to the two first-mentioned data sources this 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.

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. In the early reference years of the Treatment survey, the present data material suffests an underestimation of oil-containing waste roughly estimated to 10 000 to 40 000 tonnes due to this. The figures are uncertain and therefore not used to deflate the amount to unknown handling. In the last reference years, large amounts of collected oil-containing slop water (waste group 3) indicates that the underestimation in the Treatment survey is increased to about 50 000 ton 100 000 tonnes. This indicates high consistency between the two data scources in 2010.

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.

The Foundation database was previously more affected by underreporting than the Treatment survey (see above). Therefore, the Treatment survey was used for calculating the amount of hazardous waste treated by approved means for the period 2003 to 2008, while the Foundation was used to allocate this waste to industry and as a quality control. From 2009 the Foundation database is again used as datasource for estimating the amount treated by approved means, while the Treatment survey is used for distriburing the waste by material. The difference between the two data sources is placed in the category "other hazardous waste".

The Foundation database is also used to estimate the amount of hazardous waste handled in unknown ways. Parts of the hazardous waste being handled in unknown ways may have been treated by approved means.

Extensive work has been carried out with the Foundation database to link the hazardous waste with correct type of industry. Only about 1 per cent of the hazardous waste could not be identified by industry. Some of the establishments may also have been misclassified. However, it is assumed that the collection and processing errors are insignificant compared to other sources of uncertainty.

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. Estimations are made to link this waste to the households.

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) 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.

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. Based on a recalculation from amount of oil-containing waste to pure oil content in the amounts of the Foundation database and the Treatment survey respectively, combined with the average oil content of the relevant waste types, this underestimation seems to have reached somewhere around 50 000 to 100 000 tonnes the most recent years. However, these figures are uncertain, and hence not used for downwards adjustment of the amount to unknown handling.


Not relevant