Norway Study Tour – Visiting Circular Economy champion organisations

Partners in the Circular Based Waste Management project from Lithuania and Estonia participated in a study tour that took place in Norway last week.

Representatives from Mažeikiai municipality, the Telšiai Regional Waste Management Center and Paide Town Government, visited organisations and facilities responsible for recycling and waste handling in some of the regions in the South of Norway, in a two-day tour.

The tour began with a visit to Renovasjon i Genland, an intermunicipal waste operator responsible for four municipalities, jointly comprising a population of approximately 107,000 people. The group were given a tour of the on old recycling station and learned all about a new project being kicked off to modernise their infrastructure. Renovasjon i Grenland is preparing an investment to increase the efficiency and improve the user experience, by facilitating more modern sorting and collection points and the overall capacity at their location.

A lunch meeting took place with Skien municipality where the group met with the political leadership and the environmental department in the municipality who gave presentations on the local environmental and waste management plans and strategies.

A visit was also made to Proventia, a key instrument in the regional business incubation community for innovators and start-ups. Proventia, supported by the national and regional governments currently facilitates and support 55 start-ups with innovative solutions, where a majority of those are developing new innovations for the circular economy industry. Proventia is spearheading this development, offering advisory services, network to investors, and piloting activities to accelerate start-ups to the circular economy marketplace.

To gain a thorough overview of the circular economy ecosystem in Norway, participants also visited LOOP, the nation’s recycling foundation. LOOP develops communication tools and services with the aim of putting a circular economy into practice. LOOP also offers teaching programs on source sorting and recycling for all ages through LOOP Miljøskole and runs, a national service that aims to make it easier to throw less and source sort more, both at home and at work. Sortere also plays a role in shifting perceptions of waste to viewing it as a source of reusable materials or a source to create energy. Building form this, LOOP also offered insights on Nordic visual systems for waste sorting and how these are applied.

Finally, the group visited Sirkula Gjenbrukspark in Hamar, a recycling park owned by the waste management company Sirkula to witness a different, more practical concept of recycling. People taking items for recycling can deliver unwanted items that can be reused or given a new life to Resirkula, a second hand store that is onsite. These items are then distributed to Resirkula stores to either be sold, repaired or upcycled.

Check out our Facebook page here for more photos from our trip!

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