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Environment status

Waste and recycling statistics

The amount of household waste per capita has decreased in recent years, despite increased consumption and economic growth.

It must be easy for the households to source separate their waste. Therefore, we focus on improving public communication and increasing the number of waste delivery sites.

As of early 2018 we have 4 recycling stations, 10 mini recycling stations, and 2 mobile recycling stations, as well as 1022 local collection sites for glass and metal packaging. Ryen recycling station opened in November of 2018.

Households are generating less waste

In 2018, the average annual waste production per capita in Oslo was 321 kg, while the national average was 430 kg. It may seem like increased facilitation of source separation and public awareness campaigns have had a positive effect in Oslo.

Graphic presentation:
The graph shows the amount (in kilograms) of house hold waste per capita in Oslo, divided into different fractions. The fractions are; Other, Electronic waste, Hazardous waste, Glass and metal, Garden waste, Paper and cardboard, Plastic, Residual waste, Textiles, Total, and Wood.

See graph showing waste and recycling sorted by different fractions (PDF 0,1 MB)

More waste is reused

Reuse is the most environmentally friendly stage of waste management. In 2018, 2.6 % of household waste was reused.

Graphic presentation:
The graph shows the recovery of household waste in Oslo. The waste recovery falls into the following categories; Landfill, Energy recovery, Material recycling and Reuse.

See graph showing waste and recycling sorted by treatment categories (PDF 0,1 MB)

Food waste is used for fuel and fertilizer, while plastic is used for fleece products and toys

Recycling means that the materials are used to make new products. By recycling we avoid processes such as extraction of raw material, distribution and processing when making a new product. In 2018, 37 % of household waste was recycled, which was an increase of 10 % from 2004.

The goal is that 40 % if all household waste should be recycled by 2018. Oslo has the world’s biggest optical sorting plant for household waste. Green bags containing food waste, and blue bags containing plastic, are separated from the residual waste, by means of optic recognition. The food waste is recovered into biogas and bio fertilizer.

The biogas is used as fuel for the city’s busses and waste collecting trucks, while the fertilizer assures that important nutrients, such as phosphorous, are returned to the soil. These measures assure circularity in terms of waste being processed into new products.

In Oslo, citizens produce, on average, 89 kg food waste per capita , which of 39 kg (45 %) is correctly source separated in green bags . For plastic waste the average amount per capita is 17 kg, which of  5 kg (31 %) were correctly source separated in blue bags.

Residual waste is transformed into electricity and heat

In 2018, 57 % of the household waste was sent to energy recovery. By using state of the art technology, the waste combustions assure that the energy production is environmentally friendly.

The energy recovery plant produces enough electricity to power all the schools in Oslo, and the heat produced is distributed into the city’s district  heating system.

Since 2009, landfilling of organic waste has been banned in Norway. Some waste types such as concrete and asbestos cannot be recycled, and landfill is the only available method for waste disposal.