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Danish Waste Association, Vodroffsvej 59, 1. Sal, DK-1900 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
SUMMARY: Denmark without Waste is the Government’s presentation of a new approach
to waste. Over recent decades, in Denmark we have been incinerating almost 80 % of our
household waste. Even though this has made an important contribution to green energy
production, materials and resources have been lost which could otherwise have been
Now, we are going to change this. The Government has set a goal that in 2022 we will be
recycling 50 % of our household waste. This means that we will have to double the
recycling rate for household waste in Denmark in less than 10 years. This is an ambitious
goal, because in future we will not just be separating the waste we are already used to
separating, such as paper, cardboard and glass; we will also have to focus on other
household waste, including food waste.
The municipalities will be playing a pivotal role in realising the Government’s new waste
policy, and the Government has every confidence that, in partnership with the Danish
public, they will succeed.
We are well aware of waste as a consequence of economic activity. The more vigorous the
economy, the more waste we produce. However, waste can contain materials and resources
which it can make sense to recycle.
Denmark has come a long way in environmentally responsible waste management and in
waste incineration. However, Denmark is also one of the countries in Europe producing the
most waste per inhabitant. In 2011 Danish households produced 447 kg of waste per
person. This corresponds to every Dane throwing away more than 8 kg of waste every
Therefore the Government has a vision that Denmark will protect its resources and
materials, and recycle more household waste, while incinerating less. This will entail more
materials being sent back into the economic cycle with benefits for the environment. At the
same time it is important to organise efforts cost-effectively and appropriately in a societal
The new approach for the waste area is building on a strong Danish tradition. For many
years now we have been aware of our diminishing natural resources and we have been
trying to exploit and protect them sensibly. We are taking care of our groundwater so that
we can still drink clean water direct from the tap. We have drastically cut our discharges of
nitrogen into watercourses and the sea and we have ambitious goals for reducing pesticide
loads from agriculture.
Outside Denmark too, resource-efficiency is high on the agenda. All the EU Member
States have agreed on the 7th Environmental Action Programme ”Living well, within the
limits of our planet”, and on a roadmap for a resource-efficient EU. Globally the world’s
heads of state and government are debating the green economy and resource-efficiency.
Denmark is playing an active part in these negotiations.
Increasing prices for materials and resources will make it ever more attractive to develop
and apply solutions which make our use of raw materials more efficient, or which replace
them. Many Danish enterprises are working to produce and develop just such products and
solutions. Therefore there may be new market opportunities for Danish businesses which
can deliver technological solutions and know-how.
Denmark without Waste is a Denmark in which, in the long term, we will recycle much
more and incinerate much less waste. The same applies for landfilling, which in the long
term we will only use for materials, which are uneconomical to recycle or incinerate.
In Denmark without Waste the Government is proposing the following overall focus areas:
We will incinerate less waste and be better at exploiting the value and resources it contains.
We will reduce environmental impacts from waste so that economic growth does not cause
parallel impacts on nature and the environment.
In Denmark without Waste the Government is proposing the following overall focus areas:
1. We will incinerate less waste and be better at exploiting the value and resources it
2. We will reduce environmental impacts from waste so that economic growth does not
cause parallel impacts on nature and the environment.
3. Recycling will be high quality, and hazardous substances will be separated from waste
before it is recycled.
4. We will ensure that re-organisation of waste management is through stronger public-
private collaboration. The municipalities have primary responsibility for waste
schemes, especially for household waste. Private enterprises have competencies and
knowledge to develop the technological solutions. Therefore it is important that
municipalities and enterprises work together to develop new waste solutions.
5. We want flexible initiatives and we will closely monitor developments in the waste
area, particularly for recycling household waste. The Government places priority on
local room to manoeuvre to find the right solutions. Some municipalities have already
come a long way in their work, while others have yet to start. The Government will
closely monitor developments in the waste area, with focus on recycling, especially for
household waste. Therefore the Government will conduct an evaluation of the strategy
in 2016 and assess whether there is need for further efforts.
In 2011 about 9 million tonnes of material ended up as waste in Denmark. At total of 61 %
of this was recycled, 29 % was incinerated and 6 % was landfilled. This means that far too
many of the valuable materials today end in waste incineration plants or at landfills.
Therefore, more waste must be recycled, and the quality of the recycled material must be
The goal is that over the next 10 years Denmark is to recycle more than twice as much
household waste as today. This is a marked change in waste policy.
Some waste is more suitable for recycling than for incineration, for example metal and
glass, which cannot be burnt and give energy. For example, recycling 1 tonnes of
aluminium instead of extracting new aluminium can globally save up to 10 tonnes of CO2
Today, the recycling rate for the important metals in waste is much less than 50 % and for
rare earth elements, which are used in mobile phones for example, the recycling rate is
only 1 %. This is due to the way in which we collect and process the waste, and due to the
fact that it can be too costly to recover the metals. However, technological advances can
change this in the future.
Paper and cardboard burn well but they are also worth recycling because, for example,
energy is saved on processing new wood and the prices of recycled paper mean it is
profitable to recycle.
Organic waste, typically food waste from households, can be used to produce biogas,
which is both valuable for the energy system and can help reduce environmental problems
from livestock production. Denmark has already taken the lead in this technology, and this
also means that the nutrients from the organic waste are used as fertiliser on fields;
something which would be impossible if the waste were incinerated.
The Government places priority on local room to manoeuvre to find the right solutions to
reach the goal of more recycling of household waste. Therefore the Strategy contains no
new requirements for individual municipalities. It will still be up to the individual munici-
pality to set the level of service and organisation of waste management. Some
municipalities will find it attractive to re-organise waste management within a short time-
frame, while others will benefit more with a longer phase-in period.
The goal to double recycling of household waste requires more waste separation in future.
This could be source separation at households and at central separation facilities. These
decisions will be made locally. At the same time it is important to organise efforts cost-
effectively and appropriately in a societal context.
There may also be potential to recycle more waste from enterprises. This may be by
separating and recycling, but it may also be by transferring surplus materials from one
enterprise for use in another enterprise.
This means that enterprises can save money by recycling waste rather than procuring new
There are benefits for the environment in many parts of the world from optimal
exploitation of material resources, and the pressure on our global natural resources can also
be eased.
2.1 The effects of the Strategy
Together with the other frameworks and initiatives, the goal to double household-waste
recycling, with the associated initiatives, is expected to lead to a significant increase in
total materials recycling in Denmark.
A cost-effective conversion to more recycling requires that both the waste sector and
households have time to re-organise themselves. The following is a table of the most
important effects of implementing the initiatives in the Strategy (Table 1).
The Strategy covers initiatives for 2013 to 2018, although the goal itself for household
waste is in 2022.
Table 1: The expected effects of the Resource Strategy
The effects shown do not include all waste, but they focus on specific types of material
(waste fractions). Therefore, the amounts of waste in the table differ from the calculations
of total waste amounts.
Initiatives aiming at quality in waste treatment are not included in the table, as their effects
result in changed waste volumes. For example, these include construction and demolition
waste and some of the initiatives for waste electronic equipment.
With the goals and initiatives in the Strategy, Denmark is expected to meet a number of
EU targets, for example those set for packaging and waste electronic equipment, as well as
those for more recycling of household waste. The effects of the Resources Strategy are
illustrated in figure 1. The figure shows changes in the amount of recycled waste,
incinerated waste and landfilled waste, with and without the initiatives in the Strategy up to
2018, and then on towards the goal for recycling of household waste in 2022.
With these initiatives, a total of 820,000 tonnes less waste will be incinerated in 2022 than
would otherwise have been the case. This figure includes incinerating less waste from
households and the service sector, but also slightly larger amounts of garden waste and
shredder waste (waste from treating iron and metal waste, e.g. end-of-life cars and old
bicycles). For example it will mean that around 22,000 tonnes less plastic from households
and service enterprises will be incinerated in 2022, giving a total CO2 saving of just over
25,000 tonnes
The Resources Strategy for Waste Management Denmark without Waste has the
following initiatives:
1. More recycling of materials from households and the service sector
2. More recycling of materials from waste electronic equipment and shredder waste
3. From waste incineration to biogasification and recycling
4. Better exploitation of important nutrients such as phosphorus
5. Improved quality in recycling construction and demolition waste
6. Green conversion new commercial opportunities
Figure 1: Expected changes in incineration, landfill and recycling
Denmark produced a total of 9 mill. tonnes waste in 20111. A total of 61 % was recycled,
29 % was incinerated and 6 % was landfilled.
A smaller volume for temporary storage and special treatment is not shown in this table.
Therefore the sum of the three treatment options shown is not 100 %.
The total amount of waste from households is almost 2.4 mill. tonnes. This corresponds to
each member of a household producing 447kg of waste a year. The amount includes waste
collected from households, such as bulky waste, and waste delivered to recycling sites.
Household waste accounts for about one-quarter of the total amount of waste. More than
one-third of household waste is recycled, but more than one-half is incinerated.
Over the past 20 years, by far the majority of Danish waste has been recycled (figure 3).
The recycling rate went up from 55 % in 1994 to 61 % in 2011. The incineration rate went
from 21 % in 1994 to 29 % in 2011, whereas the percentage of waste landfilled dropped
considerably from 22 % to 6 % during the same period. The low percentage of waste being
landfilled is due to a mixture of bans against organic waste in landfills and taxes on
Table 2: The Danish waste production and treatment 2011 (excl. soil)
Denmark is 8th on the list of EU Member States for recycling waste collected by
municipalities, see figure 4. We are not achieving the same recycling rate as the European
countries recycling the most. Usually, these countries do not incinerate waste to the same
degree as we do in Denmark, but they either recycle or landfill a larger percentage of
Comparisons across EU countries require certain reservations. There are great differences
from country to country in the amount of commercial waste included in “Waste collected
by municipalities”, so the figures vary according to what this category actually includes.
Since the 1990s in particular, Danish waste treatment has shifted from landfilling to
incineration. In comparison with other EU countries, Denmark has successfully reduced
the waste volumes sent to landfill because waste incineration has taken over. Energy
recovery through incineration has been an important waste-treatment option. Now it is time
to focus also on the resources in waste by increasing recycling where this can pay and
without compromising the quality of the recycled material. At the same time, the energy
from organic waste can be exploited for biogas instead of for electricity and heating at
incineration plants.
We have successfully achieved a high rate of recycling for construction and demolition
waste, but the aspect, which cannot be measured in tonnes, that is the quality of recycling,
needs to be improved significantly so that the recycled material does not cause new
environmental problems and so that hazardous substances are managed better.
Figure 2: Waste Volume and waste treatment trends from 1994-2011
4.1 More recycling of materials from households and the service sector
Danes want to reuse and help recycle their waste. They are aware that materials must not
be wasted and that the hazardous substances in waste must not be spread.
Danish recycling sites are very popular. However, many Danes also say that they want to
be sure that the time they spend on separating waste is time well spent.
Today we incinerate about 80 % of the waste collected directly from households. By
recycling more, we can ensure that many materials which could otherwise be exploited are
not just wasted. Recycling a number of ordinary materials such as paper, cardboard,
plastic, glass and food from households has not really moved forward for the past ten
The Government’s ambition is that over the next 10 years or so we will recycle twice as
much household waste, so that one-half of household waste is recycled in 2022. Today we
recycle just 22 %.
In future we will not just be separating the waste we are already used to separating, such as
paper, cardboard and glass; we will also have to focus on all our household waste,
including food waste. With this Resources Strategy, Denmark will be meeting the EU
objective of separating 50 % of “dry” household waste (such as paper, cardboard, glass,
plastic and metal) in 2020. However, the Government is setting an even more ambitious
national goal in which the “wet” organic waste is also included. It is expected that we will
move from only separating 50,000 tonnes of organic waste to reaching up to 300,000
tonnes in 2022.
The Resources Strategy therefore anticipates that over the years to come more household
waste will be separated and recycled rather than being incinerated at waste incineration
plants. Therefore, up to 2022 more household waste will be separated at households and at
central separation facilities. In the municipalities that start source separation of household
waste, this may mean that citizens will see more containers on their drives, under their
sinks or down in the yard, for example for organic waste.
As is the case today, the individual municipality itself will be setting the level of service
and deciding how collection and treatment of the waste is to be organized. Some
municipalities will be quick to start re-organizing waste management, while a longer
phase-in period will be more relevant for others. This ensures space for local priorities.
This is entirely in line with the Government’s approach in the Resources Strategy for waste
management, which places priority in not placing more requirements on municipalities.
An evaluation will be conducted in 2016 to ascertain developments in recycling in
municipalities. On the basis of this, further initiatives may be considered.
In order to support work by the municipalities on increasing recycling, a number of
initiatives will be implemented such as information and guidance, with examples of
municipal experience and solutions. It will also be possible to apply for subsidies for
technological development, for example of separation facilities and for information about
separation and recycling
It is also important that the right incentives structure and the best instruments to increase
recycling are in place, so that recycling is increased where most appropriate in an
environmental and economic context. For example, a number of municipalities in Sweden
and Denmark have set waste fees according to the amount of waste the individual
household delivers for incineration. There is a need for an overall assessment of where
such models support efficient environmental and socio-economic conversion to more
A lot of garden waste delivered to recycling sites is treated at composting plants, and this
means that the nutrients can be recycled as fertiliser. However, larger branches only
contain few nutrients and these are a good carbon-neutral fuel which it would be better to
burn instead.
Finally, the rules must be adjusted if they actually prevent recycling. For example, a
number of enterprises have said that they want to set up their own return schemes so that
they can take back their products after they have ended their useful life at customers. For
example plastic bottles or lids which can be recycled, or metal bottle-tops can be used in
new products. Enterprises wanting to take the lead must be allowed to do so.
Initiatives to recycle more waste from enterprises have focussed on industrial waste and
mill. tonnes of waste every year; almost 50 % more than industry, and the amount has been
growing in recent years in line with a growing service sector.
4.1.1 Initiatives
Support development of new collection schemes in municipalities, which ensure citizens
easy access to separate and thereby recycle more household waste, including organic
waste, plastic and metal waste.
Funding for development and demonstration of better separation and treatment facilities,
including to manage dry fractions (e.g. plastic and metal) from domestic waste and bulky
Partnership for plastic waste, in which companies, knowledge institutions, etc. together
promote treatment technologies, which increase recycling.
Partnership between municipalities, enterprises, designers, anthropologists etc. to develop
simple, easily accessible waste systems.
Pool to support projects by green entrepreneurs which can contribute to local
implementation of the green conversion. For example, these may be projects which secure
sustainable consumption.
Establishment of possibility in legislation for private businesses to set up their own return
schemes for products placed on the market in other areas than electronic equipment.
Campaign/information initiatives for the public in order to promote recycling, for example,
of organic, plastic and metal waste, including at recycling sites or through local
information initiatives.
Dialogue with the service sector on recycling initiatives up to 2018, common information
initiatives on separating and treating waste from the service sector, e.g. organic waste,
plastic and metal waste.
Guidelines with examples of 3-4 solutions which work well and which support waste
separation (including organic, metal and plastic waste) so that the separated waste can
replace materials, for example in fertiliser, or so that it is suitable for processing to new
high-quality products.
Analysis of fee structures in the waste area which can support the goals in the Resources
Strategy for more recycling
4.2 More recycling of materials from waste electronic equipment and shredder waste
Waste electronic equipment and shredder waste contains many valuable materials,
including in particular the 14 resources which the EU has designated as “critical” raw
materials. Many of the resources in waste electronic equipment are already being recycled
to a large extent, e.g. copper and iron, but many of the critical raw materials are still being
lost. This applies in particular to rare earth elements such as neodymium, which is an
essential raw material in wind turbines, computer hard discs and electric cars.
Environmentally there may be benefits in recycling metals and rare earth elements globally
rather than extracting new ore.
If the prices on the world markets for these rare earth elements continue to rise, in the long
term it will be profitable to recover even small amounts from electronic appliances before
they are destroyed.
The first requirement for recycling is that the waste is actually collected. We are already
doing this in Denmark and we are one of the best in the EU at collecting waste electronic
equipment and batteries from households. Almost 100,000 tonnes is being collected in
Denmark every year. However, we can do even better. There is a need to focus initiatives
so that mobile phones, energy-saving bulbs and digital cameras are not incinerated, but are
collected separately and recycled. This is where there are the most hazardous substances
and the greatest recycling potentials.
When waste is collected, we must ensure that the recycling potential is exploited and that
there is good quality recycling. The market for treating waste electronic equipment is
international and specialized across waste enterprises with different roles and competences
in the process. Initiatives will have the greatest effect at EU level and therefore common
EU regulation and standards are vital.
The EU roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe sets up a number of goals and targets for
better exploitation of resources and more recycling to support more resource-efficient
production. In addition, it establishes a large number of initiatives, e.g. requirements
pursuant to the Eco design Directive, to promote material exploitation in products and their
recyclability, development of innovation partnerships, and focus of EU research funding
on key goals for resource-efficiency.
If we focus on technological development of the processes in which waste electronic
equipment is pretreated and separated into different material fractions, we can increase
recycling, for example of plastic, glass and metal-containing fractions. For some metals,
such as gold, silver and copper, there are already high levels of recycling, while other
resources in waste are being lost during waste treatment. More effective treatment could
also increase recycling of valuable metals such as rare earth elements.
Shredder waste is composed of old bicycles and cars, for example, which contain
hazardous substances, and today large amounts of this type of waste are landfilled. In fact
so much is landfilled that shredder waste is one of the largest waste types for landfilling in
Denmark. This waste contains
4.2.1 Initiatives
Partnership between manufacturers, municipalities and registered collectors on collecting
small waste electronic equipment. Among other things, the partnership will identify the
fractions and product categories for increased collection as well as propose initiatives to
increase collection.
Partnership between relevant players to increase recycling of end-of-life electric and
hybrid vehicles so that these are reused and recycled to the same extent as other types of
Investigation of possibilities for a voluntary scheme to collect mobile phones, for example
in phone shops.
Strategic collaboration preferably international for recycling waste electronic
equipment, including funding to develop, test and demonstrate new technology for pre-
treatment of waste electronic equipment.
Contribute to EU work on the technical foundation for setting standards for treating waste
electronic equipment with a view to ensuring exploitation of resources.
Preparation of lifecycle analysis and socio-economic analysis of shredder waste.
4.3 From waste incineration to biogasification and recycling
In the 2012 energy agreement, the Government has set ambitious objectives for Danish
energy supply. The goal is that we are to be independent of fossil fuels by 2050.
Today, waste is part of energy supply and around one-quarter of all Danish waste ends at
waste incineration plants. These plants supply about 20 % of district heating and 5 % of
electricity. Denmark leads the world in exploiting the energy resources in waste. We will
continue to do so, but in the future there is a need to exploit the energy in waste even
better. At the same time we will exploit the materials resources, where this is profitable.
We know that today we are incinerating waste which could be recycled. 80 % of organic
waste, such as food waste, is water and this is burnt away.
Organic waste is a valuable supplement in manure-based biogas plants which gasify
livestock manure, and it increases their energy production. This means we will be
supporting biogas production in line with the initiatives to promote biogas in the 2012
energy agreement. We can also exploit valuable plant nutrients such as phosphorus and the
contents of carbon in food waste, because it can be used as fertiliser.
There must be cohesion between the capacity at incineration plants and biogas plants. The
system must be organised so that there are no barriers to recycling. Re-organization of the
Danish waste-incineration sector must help ensure that we recycle more and incinerate
less. There is a difference of DKK 600 per tonnes in the price of incinerating waste at
different incineration plants. This indicates that there is considerable potential for
efficiency improvements in the sector. Analyses show that there is a socio-economic
efficiency-improvement potential of up to DKK 380 mill. per year for the sector.
4.3.1 Initiatives
A framework must be established for a more efficient incineration sector. Re-organisation
of the sector must ensure that the waste incineration sector helps ensure recycling and that
waste is incinerated at the most cost-effective plant.
The Government will present a model for the new organisation of the waste incineration
4.4 Better exploitation of important nutrients such as phosphorus
There are important nutrients in sewage sludge and livestock manure. The substances are
valuable resources which are impossible to replace, especially in agricultural production.
An important example is phosphorus, where at the moment supply cannot keep pace with
demand and prices are rising.
The largest sources of phosphorus and other nutrients are livestock manure, sewage sludge
and to a lesser degree organic waste from households and service enterprises. We must
exploit the phosphorus resource in this waste at the same time as exploiting the energy as
efficiently as possible.
Today a total of 2.6 mill. tonnes sewage sludge, 32 mill. tonnes livestock manure and 0.7
mill. tonnes organic waste are produced. Together this waste contains around 50,000
tonnes phosphorus. There is a potential to exploit the phosphorus in the ash arising from
incinerating sewage sludge and to be more targeted in exploiting the phosphorus in
livestock manure so that it is absorbed by crops without impacting the soil and aquatic
environment with excessively large amounts of nutrients which are not absorbed by the
4.4.1 Initiatives
Funding for developing, testing and demonstrating technologies for recovering phosphorus
from sewage sludge.
Follow-up of lifecycle and socio-economic analyses of treatment requirements for sewage
sludge and possibly livestock manure so that the content of phosphorus is exploited, e.g. in
ash after incineration. In this context it is important to take into account whether any
treatment requirements entail financial costs for businesses, see box 2 on treatment
Possible establishment of “phosphorus banks” for separate landfilling of ash from
incineration of sewage sludge
4.5 Improved quality in recycling construction and demolition waste
Construction and demolition waste accounts for by far the largest percentage of total waste
volumes; about 87 % of construction and demolition waste is recycled.
Much of construction and demolition waste contains hazardous substances. Therefore it is
important to remove these substances so that they are not spread into the environment and
be aware of new substances which may pose a risk for the environment and health. Conse-
quently, initiatives on substances of concern in waste must be supplemented by measures
in a new chemicals initiative, amongst other things to ensure that chemicals in products do
not prevent or complicate future recycling, and focus on making it possible for materials
and products to return to the resources cycle.
PCB is a hazardous substance for the environment and health. The initiatives regarding
waste in the 2011 PCB Action Plan are being implemented so that construction and
demolition waste containing PCB is managed to ensure better quality recycling.
The Resources Strategy therefore focuses the aims of the PCB Action Plan to improve the
quality of recycling. There is a need to improve management of the often mixed waste
materials. There is also a need to secure better quality of the demolition materials which
are crushed and used as a substitute for gravel and stone in roads. This may mean that
recycling drops for a period. This drop has already been apparent over the past couple of
years in line with increasing awareness of PCB. In the long term recycling rate will again
increase, but such that it does not impact the environment by spreading hazardous
However, there are also other substances harmful to the environment in construction and
demolition waste, and these provide potential for better and safer recycling.
District-heating pipes comprise an iron core which is insulated with plastic foam. From the
1960s and up to 2002, the plastic foam was produced using halogenated hydrocarbons such
as CFCs (e.g. Freon). When the plastic foam in the district-heating pipe is treated,
technology should be applied which collects the ozone-depleting gas and helps alleviate
the greenhouse effect.
Moreover, in the years to come we will be facing the largest ever expansion of wind
turbines. This means that many smaller wind turbines will be pulled down to be replaced
by new, larger turbines. This is a result of the government goal for 50 % of electricity
production to come from wind energy in 2020. Therefore it is important to find the best
possible way of ensuring that end-of-life wind turbines are used and exploited as a
resource. Partly because the materials can be used for other purposes and partly because
the blades are difficult to deal with, if they are landfilled.
In addition to implementing the PCB Action Plan, lifecycle analyses and socio-economic
analyses will be initiated in order to assess whether treatment requirements can help ensure
better quality recycling.
4.5.1 Initiatives
The waste-relevant initiatives in the Government’s PCB Action Plan will be implemented,
including: Stipulation of limit values for the content of PCB in building waste.
Stricter requirements for demolition of buildings to enable a better and more
comprehensive overview of the materials and substances contained in building waste.
Enhanced requirements for the qualifications of demolition companies.
Investigation of the possibilities for better recycling of concrete and investigate the
advantages and disadvantages of new treatment requirements for bricks and impregnated
wood as well as requirements to separate roofing felt.
Support for recycling of end-of-life wind-turbine blades and investigation of the
advantages and disadvantages of introducing treatment requirements for end-of-life wind-
turbine blades.
Investigation of the advantages and disadvantages of introducing treatment requirements
for district-heating pipes.
In addition to environmental and socio-economic aspects, assessment of the advantages
and disadvantages of introducing new treatment requirements will focus on whether
possible requirements entail increased costs for businesses,
4.6 Green conversion new commercial opportunities
Global development, with a growing middle class of consumers and rising demand means
there will be increasing needs for new and resource-efficient solutions. Efficient use of raw
materials and other materials are the largest Danish business sector within the environment
and a number of large Danish export companies are market leaders in the area. Therefore
global development could be extremely important for these Danish companies.
The key word for companies is competitiveness, in part for those that supply innovative
solutions, and in part for the Danish companies which implement these solutions to achieve
more resource-efficient production.
The Resources Plan for waste management will promote more separation and recycling of
household waste. This will treatment of organic waste. This must be supplemented by
exploiting the opportunities linked to improved waste prevention, among other things with
the Resources Strategy for waste prevention.
The Government has placed priority on subsidies to develop new technological solutions
which can promote resource-efficiency and the green transition in Denmark. Furthermore,
we must help green technology enterprises to reach out to export markets.
More focus on green technology, for example through the Programme for Green
4.6.1 Initiatives
Promote better quality and more recycling of household waste and similar waste from the
service sector. Develop a state-of-the-art waste separation facility which will contribute to
more recycling and better exploitation of the resources in dry waste fractions (plastic,
metal, cardboard etc.).
Optimise resource consumption at enterprises in order to reduce waste volumes and
increase recycling.
Reuse and recycle construction and demolition waste.
Better exploit the resources in shredder waste, slag from incineration plants and waste
electronic equipment.
Recover more phosphorus from sewage sludge and livestock manure.
Design products which establish closed resources cycles.
Establish a knowledge centre for resources which will collect knowledge and experience
within closed resources cycles.
Strategic collaboration preferably international for recycling waste electronic
equipment, including announcement of funding to develop, test and demonstrate new
technology for pre-treatment of waste electronic equipment.
Investigate how, in connection with changes in consumer behaviour, new business models
can contribute to lower resource consumption and more reprocessing and recycling.
Analysis of Danish technological development potentials in waste management of electric
and hybrid vehicles and reuse of batteries for electric vehicles in the renewable energy
Green conversion loans for resource-efficiency improvements at enterprises.
Green conversion fund will contribute to equipping Danish enterprises for the resources-
scarce economy of the future. The fund will aim at business development, production, sales
and market-maturity of green products and solutions.
Promote industrial symbiosis in which enterprises link together their materials flows so
that waste from one enterprise can become a resource for another enterprise.
Enhance green export initiatives by developing, disseminating and providing advice about
green solutions abroad.
Denmark will contribute actively to the EU process on a roadmap for a resource-efficient
Europe, including development of efficient markets for secondary raw materials.
Denmark will contribute to implementation of the EU 7th Environmental Action
Programme in which sustainable consumption and production play a prominent role,
including how consumer demand can contribute to promoting eco-friendly design and
increased use of secondary raw materials in products.
Denmark without Waste, Recycle more incinerate less, November 2013, The
Danish Government.
Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament 7th Environment Action
Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’
Communication from the Commission to The European Parliament, The Council,
The European Economic and Social Committee of the Regions Roadmap to a
Resource Efficient Europe (COM/2011/057)
... An example of a response to this is the case of Denmark. The Danish government has initiated a reduction of waste incineration rate to improve the recycling quality and CO 2 emissions reduction (Rosendal, 2014). ...
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is widely used in textile fiber, film, and bottles. Although PET bottle recycling has made great progress, other PET waste is still not recycled. Gasification could be an option for recycling or recovering energy and chemicals from PET waste. However, single stream PET steam gasification in fluidized bed is seldom investigated. In this paper, individual PET gasification experiments were then conducted in a lab-scale bubbling fluidized bed to investigate how gasifying agents, temperature, residence time and steam/fuel ratio affect the product composition. The results showed that, in steam gasification, steam was the main source of H2, but increasing the steam to fuel ratio cannot increase the H2 yield remarkably. Temperature was an essential parameter. Increasing temperature from 750 to 800 °C improved the yields of H2 (+87.7%), the dominant gas product CO2 (+40.3%), and biphenyl (+123%) notably. In contrast to other common thermoplastics, high concentrations of CO2 and biphenyl are the prominent characteristics of PET steam gasification. In addition, plastic steam gasification optimizations for syngas applications were discussed.
... Because of this, an increase in incineration taxes could not efficiently reduce household waste or food waste, as energy production has priority in Denmark. Nevertheless, Denmark's own plans for 2022 include reducing incineration of household waste including food in favour of recycling (Rosendal, 2014). ...
Food waste is a global issue which has serious societal, environmental and economic implications. It has been estimated by the FAO that on a global level approximately one third of food produced for human consumption is wasted. In Denmark, the total economic loss of food loss and waste along the supply chain is estimated to reach at least € 1.66 billion per year. Danish households account for 36% of avoidable food waste in terms of weight, which is the largest among all the stages in the supply chain. Economic incentives to reduce food waste from households do not have a prominent position either in literature or practice. Here we look at three existing economic instruments that are widely used to reduce general household waste and that can be directed specifically at household food waste. We found that increasing the Danish landfill tax would not be effective and that increasing their incineration tax would be complicated due to Denmark's reliance on waste for its energy supply. Having modelled pay-as-you-throw for both individual and municipal collection, the findings suggest that the derived tax is fair because every household would pay according to how much food waste they generate. However, pay-as-you-throw, while effective in the right circumstances, cannot solve the problem of household food waste alone. The complexity of the issue requires a multidisciplinary approach that also takes into account all the factors that influence generation of household food waste.
... An example of a response to this is the case of Denmark. The Danish government has initiated a reduction of waste incineration rate to improve the recycling quality and CO 2 emissions reduction (Rosendal, 2014). ...
Recycling of the carbon atoms from plastic waste is a crucial step in establishing a circular economy. The intense sorting required to produce easily treatable streams inevitably produces highly heterogeneous waste byproducts, which are challenging to recycle. In this paper, we propose that automotive shredder residue (ASR), which is one such heterogeneous waste, can be recycled by chemical-looping gasification (CLG), using its own ash as the oxygen-carrying bed material. We investigate two critical issues regarding the feasibility of the process: how to achieve complete conversion of the ASR in the fuel reactor and whether the heat of oxidation of the bed material is sufficient to fulfill the energy demand of the process, especially when complete conversion of ASR is achieved in the fuel reactor. This work is based on experiments conducted in the 2–4 MWth Chalmers dual fluidized bed gasifier. Assessed were the impacts on ASR conversion of four operational parameters: the bed material circulation rate; the ASR feeding rate; the levels of oxygen transport between the reactors; and the fuel reactor temperature. A heat balance for the system was established to assess the feasibility of CLG from the energy standpoint. The transport of oxygen was found to be the decisive parameter in the process, as it had the strongest impact on ASR conversion and directly affected the heat release in the air reactor. The oxygen transport level was found to be insufficient to cover the heat demand of the CLG process, indicating that strategies to increase oxygen transport are needed. However, carbon dioxide was found to be the main product of the process (on a carbon basis) and the carbon that was converted by increasing the oxygen transport formed carbon dioxide exclusively. Therefore, the viability of the CLG process for ASR recycling requires the valorization of carbon dioxide.
Conference Paper
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Circular economy is about creating an economy where the resources we take in use, is kept in circulation (recycled) after end of use rather than being burned in an incinerator or end their life in a landfill. As long as hazardous substances can accumulate in the environment and still is permitted for use in products and goods, as long there will be a risk that the substances is released into the environment when they are subsequently reused or recycled. The circular economy and way of thinking must be combined with opportunities for decontamination and disposal of heavily contaminated flows, which it from an overall resource point of view does not pay to treat and "recycle". A that point landfills play an important and natural role in the circular economy, and contributes to better resource management of materials that should not be, can or should be recycled and which MUST be removed from the recycling circuit and-cycle. Instead of considering the landfill of waste as a problem, we need to think in new directions and developing the area and strategies where landfills are incorporated and get a place in the circular thinking.
The Danish Government Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament 7 th Environment Action Programme to 2020 'Living well, within the limits of our planet' /3/ Communication from the Commission to The European Parliament, The Council, The European Economic and Social Committee of the Regions
  • Waste Denmark
Denmark without Waste, Recycle more – incinerate less, November 2013, The Danish Government. /2/ Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament 7 th Environment Action Programme to 2020 'Living well, within the limits of our planet' /3/ Communication from the Commission to The European Parliament, The Council, The European Economic and Social Committee of the Regions Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe (COM/2011/057)
Recycle more -incinerate less
  • Denmark Without Waste
Denmark without Waste, Recycle more -incinerate less, November 2013, The Danish Government.