Must handle our own waste
Through international agreements, Norway is obliged to handle its own waste. A single waste market has been set up to cover the Nordic region.
To prevent waste from being dumped in undeveloped countries, and ensure that waste is properly treated, 182 countries and the EU have signed the Basel Convention.
The Convention was written at the end of the 1980s, and makes it compulsory for every country to have an adequate national treatment capacity. Dumping waste in a country which has not signed the Convention is not permitted.
Norway’s obligations mean that we have to ensure that the handling and final disposal of our own hazardous waste is environmentally responsible. Many types of special waste require specialist skills and specialised facilities.
The Nordic countries therefore agreed to join forces on waste management. A single Norwegian market was set up to handle hazardous waste.
Norway exports waste for which we do not have treatment facilities or the capacity to handle ourselves. We also receive hazardous waste which we do have the expertise and capacity to handle.
The disposal and treatment of fly ash is an area in which Norway is ahead of the other countries.
Most of the waste Norway exports goes to Sweden. The waste we receive in return comes mainly from Denmark and Sweden. In recent years, exports have increased, while imports have fallen. This means that Norway is a net exporter of hazardous waste.