Biological Waste Treatment in Norway and Sweden: What works well and what can be improved?

A synthesis of the nine projects in BUS

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A Swedish-Norwegian project for the follow-up and evaluation of large-scale systems for composting and digestion of source separated biological waste was carried out during 2002–2004, financed by The Swedish Association of Waste Management (RVF) together with several other Swedish and Norwegian organisations. The project was entitled BUS (Biological waste treatment – evaluation of systems).BUS consisted of 10 individual projects carried out by different project leaders. Each of the projects has been presented in a report, published in Swedish in the form of a RVF report, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (NV) report and/or a STEM report. The last individual project consisted of a synthesis of the whole BUS, with the objective to make a collation of the other individual projects within BUS thus providing an overall summary of the projects and presentation of general conclusions. Synthesis is here taken to mean a focus on information and conclusions that cannot be drawn from the individual projects, but that instead have to be based on the results of a combination of several projects. This report contains an English translation of the BUS-synthesis, prepared for The Nordic Council of Ministers’ group on organic waste, within the working group on Products and Waste (The PA-group), with the objective to make the conclusions from BUS available to a broader target group.




The governments in Norway and Sweden have the aim of achieving an increased implementation of biological waste management. The motivation for this has mainly been to capture nutrients that can be returned to the soil and, primarily, to decrease the landfilling of waste that can be treated in other ways. Both in Norway and in Sweden, the governments have also emphasised the benefits of biological treatment of food waste as opposed to incineration of this waste. However, biological waste treatment has been connected to various problems such as the operation of plants, emission of odours etc.


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