Bulky waste quantities and treatment methods in Denmark

Anna Warberg Larsen, Claus Petersen, Thomas Højlund Christensen

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Bulky waste is a significant and increasing waste stream in Denmark. However, only little research has been done on its composition and treatment. In the present study, data about collection methods, waste quantities and treatment methods for bulky waste were obtained from two municipalities. In addition a sorting analysis was conducted on combustible waste, which is a major fraction of bulky waste in Denmark. The generation of bulky waste was found to be 150–250 kg capita−1 year−1, and 90% of the waste was collected at recycling centres; the rest through kerbside collection. Twelve main fractions were identified of which ten were recyclable and constituted 50–60% of the total quantity. The others were combustible waste for incineration (30–40%) and non-combustible waste for landfilling (10%). The largest fractions by mass were combustible waste, bricks and tile, concrete, non-combustible waste, wood, and metal scrap, which together made up more than 90% of the total waste amounts. The amount of combustible waste could be significantly reduced through better sorting. Many of the waste fractions consisted of composite products that underwent thorough separation before being recycled. The recyclable materials were in many cases exported to other countries which made it difficult to track their destination and further treatment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)147-154
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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