Norwegian household waste recycling booms

Statistics office reports increase in recycling in 1999, masking continued waste volume growth

The proportion of Norwegian household waste being recycled rose sharply to 38% in 1999, according to a recent report by the national statistical office, Statistics Norway (SSB). Some 534,000 tonnes were recycled or burned with energy recovery, the agency reports, a 70,000 tonnes or 15% increase on the 1998 level. The figures are based on a survey of 50 local authorities and waste treatment companies.

The 1999 household waste recycling rate would have been higher but for an increase in per capita waste generation, the figures show. Continuing a long-term trend (ENDS Daily 22 November 1999), this grew from 308 kilograms (kg) in 1998 to 314kg in 1999. "The tendency runs counter to previous aims of the environmental authorities to reduce the total volume of household waste," the SSB notes. The Norwegian government last year called for no waste streams to grow faster than the economy, and for 75% recycling rates to be achieved by 2010 (ENDS Daily 2 November 1999).

* A separate report from the SSB shows that recycling of waste wood reached within a few percentage points of the 75% target in 1997, the latest year for which figures are available. The total volume of wood waste arising fell by 9% to 1.15m tonnes, the agency says, 29% of which was recycled and 43% incinerated with energy recovery. "It has been uncertain until now how much waste wood arose in Norway," the SSB adds.

Follow Up:
SSB, tel: +47 62 88 45 00.

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