Recycling and Waste

You step into your new home here in Norway and you realise there are several different coloured bins for your waste. What goes where??

Different municipalities have different-coloured bins for different types of trash. Here is a general overview. For specific information to your municipality, kindly refer to your municipality’s website.

General rules:
Bioavfall – For food and garden waste. Note that you will need to throw your food waste in biodegradable bags.

Papiravfall – Paper waste. Remember to flatten your drink cartons as well.  Do not throw books in this bin, donate them to friends, Fretex, the library or second-hand bookstores.

Plastavfall – Plastic waste.

Farlig avfall og elektrisk avfall – Hazardous and minor electrical waste.

Glass og metall – Glass and metal waste

Restavfall – for all other waste.

Next question, what day of the week do your bins get emptied? 
If you have not gotten the answer from your landlord or neighbours, find out from your municipality’s website under  ‘bosstømming/tømmingdag‘ and find out which day of the week it is. Alternatively, just wait to see when your neighbours bring their bins out and follow in their footsteps.  If you do not already have a hard copy of the recycling and waste calendar at home, you can find the calendar on your municipality’s website.

Do note that during holidays, e.g. Easter, Christmas, New Year, etc, the bin collection days may be changed. Check them on the calendar.

Do you need more bins? Or do you need to get rid of some bins?
You can order (bestille) or cancel (avbestille) them through your municipality.

What do you do with bottles and cans?
There are recycling stations in most supermarkets where you get between 2 to 3 NOK per bottle/can. Some of the machines offer you the option of donating the money to charity. Note that not all bottles/cans can be recycled at these stations. Bottles/cans which can be recycled usually have a sign on it that says ‘PANT – _ kr’. Bottles/cans which cannot be recycled at these stations can be disposed of in proper waste bins.

What about electronic waste?
Electrical and electronic equipment waste (EE waste) can be returned to shops that sell this type of equipment or to recycling stations.

I have more waste than can fit into my bins. What do I do?
You can bring your waste down to recycling stations (gjenvinningsstasjon). Alternatively, some municipalities offer pick up of your waste. Check your municipality’s website to see if they offer this service. If so, you can order the service online.

I have too much waste to throw in my bins or for municipality pickup, nor am I able to bring them down to the recycling stations. What do I do?
You can order a container. The company will deliver the container (size chosen by you) onto your property, usually on the day you order or the next day, and when you are done throwing all your waste in there, simply call them and they will come and pick up the container. They will send you a bill within 2 weeks. It is a fixed price for delivering the container, but your waste will be charged by weight and you may need to pay extra if the container stands on your property for more than 7 days (different companies have different rules).

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