NOAH and recycling

In recent years, there has been a great deal of focus on the recycling of useful substances in hazardous waste, and research all over the world is looking into fly ash recycling.

‘Circular economy’ is the buzzword, and there are expectations from NOAH and the wider community about what the waste industry should be striving toward. The expectations of the general public will eventually be reflected in new and more stringent requirements and standards for the industry, both in Norway and the EU. These are standards and requirements which will set new terms and framework conditions for NOAH. NOAH already ensures that it has safe and stable processes for the reception, treatment and stabilisation of hazardous waste, and also for the disposal of the end product after the treatment process. The current process receives hazardous waste from businesses in Scandinavia, and is considered to be one of the best hazardous waste treatment methods in the world.

Hazardous waste is waste which has properties with the potential to cause adverse effects on the environment. That is why there are special requirements in place governing its handling, intermediate storage and final disposal. NOAH has had a process department, lab and research department on Langøya for 25 years, and is now a leading expert on hazardous waste and the regulations governing hazardous waste in the Nordic countries. The research work on Langøya has always been operation-oriented, and studies how to receive and treat all fractions of waste properly and safely – safeguarding not only the environment but also the people who work with hazardous waste on a daily basis.

Like other waste, hazardous waste also contains some valuable resources which ideally should be recycled. Over the last 5-6 years, NOAH has been intensifying its research and development work in order to find ways to recover resources from hazardous waste. Where the safe treatment of hazardous waste and the possibility of utilising resources are mutually incompatible, safe treatment must obviously come first.

NOAH has set itself a target to recover 25% of useful substances in the hazardous waste which it currently receives. That could involve the recycling of materials, energy or other factors, to bring lasting value to the community. We are particularly focusing on energy recycling from industrial waste and salt recycling from fly ash.

In order to expand our research activities even further, and improve our chances of developing good recycling projects, NOAH has decided to set up a department in Herøya Research Park. Here, NOAH would like its development work to be more independent of the current operational situation on Langøya and other active sites. We would also like to make use of the other research and development capacity available in Herøya, as well as knowledge and expertise regarding pilot schemes and industrialisation.