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Norway: New Hazardous Waste Strategy

(June 2, 2008) On April 21, 2008, Norway's Pollution Control Authority (Statens forurensningstilsyn, or SFT) announced that it is considering amending chapter 11 of the Waste Regulations (930/2004) “to improve opportunities for households to dispose of hazardous waste and to make collection targets legally binding.” The SFT also stated that it may revise the rules on hazardous content of products so that “where possible, new products coming onto the market produce less hazardous waste than their predecessors.” (Marcus Hoy, Norway Waste Strategy Aims to Reduce Hazardous Material, Improve Treatment, 31:10 INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT REPORTER 440 (May 14, 2008), available at

The current regulations are deemed adequate for defining and regulating hazardous waste, but the changes aim to encourage households and industry to use better handling and disposal techniques and increase the amount of waste collected. The focus of the new hazardous waste strategy, which covers 2008-2010, is on “small electronic devices, household cleaning substances containing tetrachloroethene; firefighting foam containing perfluorooctane sulfonates; wood impregnated with copper, chrome, and arsenic; and insulating materials containing brominated flame retardants, which are commonly used in construction.” (Id.) The new strategy also prioritizes the collection of types of waste according to the level of danger, seeks to reduce the use of environmental poisons in industrial production, and aims to facilitate environmentally friendly consumer purchases. According to SFT official Hilde Skaalevaag, a major overhaul of Norway's industrial waste laws is not necessary because “[t]he existing EU Hazardous Waste Regulations [91/689/EEC] have been sufficient to identify new hazardous waste areas such as building insulation material containing brominated flame retardants.” “[T]he regulations on the recovery and treatment of construction waste,” she added, “were amended in January 2008 to require companies to submit detailed plans regarding treatment and disposal,” and Norway is also now implementing the European Union's RoHS Directive (2002/95/EC) restricting the use of certain hazardous substances (e.g., lead and mercury) in electrical and electronic equipment. (Id; see also SFT, Strategi for Farlig Avfall 2008-2010 [Strategy for Hazardous Waste] (Apr. 2008) (in Norwegian), available at