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Waste as a resource

Waste was previously perceived as a problem, but has now become a demanded resource. Regulation pertaining to the area of waste focuses on maintaining a well-functioning waste market that is opens to competition, innovation and increasing efficiency standards.

Waste is a commodity, which has increasingly been managed as a monopoly. Municipalities are responsible for waste governance in regards to allocation and waste management practices that are pursued at the community level.

Analyses conducted have led to the following conclusions:

  • Sufficient incentives are lacking to stimulate price competition and to rais efficiency standards in relation to waste management, for which the municipalities are responsible.
  • Waste producers (households and companies) do not have freedom of choice and access to the cheapest and best solutions for waste management.
  • The present financial regulation of the waste sector is complex and burdensome, making implementation difficult for waste producers, private waste solution providers andmunicipalities.

Experiences from competition exposure of reusable waste

In 2010, reusable commercial waste was exposed to competition to a certain degree. Experience shows that there are well-functioning private solutions on the market. Yet, uncertainty regarding access to reusable waste, resulted in missed investment opportunities for sorting plants and technological development. 

The strategy of supply sets the future framework

A clear framework is needed to ensure necessary investments and innovation take place. As part of the Supply for the Future Strategy the government aims to remove investment barriers in the field of waste management. Removal of barriers includes opening waste incineration and reusable waste operations to market competition.

An increasing demand for raw materials is accelerating the market for waste in recognition of the waste as a valuable resource. As the demand for waste grows, new uses will be designated and will help to deliver EU objectives of sustainable development through the adoption of circular economy principles.

Read The Supply for the Future Strategy




Trine de Fine Skibsted

Special advisor
Utilities Department 1