Norwegian waste set to grow rapidly

Household rubbish will increase faster than ever, industrial waste growth slowing

The annual volume of Norwegian household waste is expected to increase by 45% over the next ten years and that of industrial waste by 18%, according to projections by Norway's statistical office (SSB). The SSB's report shows that Each Norwegian produced an average of 308kg of household rubbish last year, nearly double the amount of 25 years ago, of which 102kg was recycled. An increase of 21 kg in the per capita average between1997 and 1998 resulted in a total in 1998 of 1.3m tonnes. Paper, cardboard and drinks cartons accounted for 45% of recycled household waste; putrescible material, such as discarded food, represented another 15%. The growth rate for industrial waste has "flattened out" from 29% between 1992 and 1995 to projected rise of 18% over the next ten years, equivalent to 1.7m tonnes per year. In its recent white paper on "the environmental state of the nation,", (ENDS Daily 2 November) the government set out what it claimed was the first-ever national targets for waste reduction. These include a minimum recycling rate of 75% and a rate of increase in waste generation below that of economic growth by 2010. Although the government admitted these targets were "ambitious," the SSB's calculations look likely to provide more ammunition for its numerous critics among environmental NGOs and politicians.

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