How can waste collection be more cost efficient and with less environmental impacts


By collaborating, performing specific calculations and following up on contracts, several Norwegian municipalities have great potential to streamline how they collect waste from households.

NORSUS has led the project Innovative Waste Logistics for the last three years, looking into how municipalities can collect household waste in a more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly way.

During this period, the project has revealed large differences in the municipal waste collection systems in Norway. Here are some factors affecting waste management:

  • Organisational structure
  • Collaboration or not
  • Purchase of services
  • Gathering system
  • Vehicles and fuel

The differences in organisation may limit competence development and innovation in how to manage waste. Such barriers can be reduced when being aware of challenges and ensuring collaboration between cities and local authorities internally and across the private and public sectors.

The project-developed tools and models give the actors knowledge about how to improve their waste management regarding costs and emissions and how to conduct and follow up public tenders related to waste collection.

By implementing Innovative waste management project insights, municipalities and waste management enterprises will improve their decisions. Using the tools contributes to increased awareness and transparency about costs in purchasing processes, which leads to reduced economic risk and obtaining prudent cost allocation.

This realises the potential for increased focus on environment and quality as criteria in purchase processes.

With such knowledge, municipalities and waste management companies can contribute to a more holistic approach in the transition to a more circular economy. 

Read the full report here

Project partners:

Kari-Anne Lyng, NORSUS

Bente Flygansvær, BI Norwegian Business School

John Baxter, NORSUS

Kjersti Prestrud, NORSUS

Eirill Bø, BI Norwegian Business School

Markus Bugge, NIFU Nordic institute for studies of innovation, research and education