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Natural Resources and the Environment 2005
The total quantities of waste generated in Norway are rising, but strict emission standards and new technology have resulted in large reductions in many of the emissions associated with waste management. The environmental and social impacts of waste depend partly on how it is managed. Waste can cause health and environmental problems, but sound management can both provide useful resources and reduce the environmental problems. There are still problems associated with hazardous waste that is not dealt with appropriately.
Waste consists of anything that is discarded after production and consumption. Various problems arise if waste is not managed appropriately, including pollution of soil and water (mainly caused by leachate from landfills), greenhouse gas emissions, health problems, littering and locally, unpleasant smells. One of the objectives of Norway's legislation on waste management is to prevent such problems from arising. The authorities also set standards for waste management facilities through regulations and the mandatory licensing system. Licences include requirements to collect and control leachate from new landfills and upper limits for permitted emissions from incineration plants. A general prohibition against landfilling of wet organic waste (food waste, slaughterhouse waste, etc.) has been introduced. A series of voluntary agreements have also been established between various sectors of industry and the authorities to ensure the collection and sound management of selected waste types. Certain types of waste are particularly dangerous to human health and the environment, and special legislation applies to these waste fractions to ensure that they are managed properly and in a way that can be controlled. With few exceptions, the authorities require hazardous waste to be treated at separate, specially designed treatment facilities. Detailed reports on such waste are also required to...