Procedure for Waste Management and Reuse
The waste hierarchy illustrates the priorities in Norwegian waste policy and the EU's framework directive for waste. Waste must be treated as close to the top of the hierarchy as possible:
In other words, the best thing you can do for the environment is to buy fewer things. If you are going to buy something new, reused items should be preferred, so that their lifespan is extended. Once the item becomes waste, it should be sorted so that it can be material recycled into a new product!
According to the waste hierarchy, the most important measure is waste reduction. At BI, a needs assessment is carried out prior to procurement, in accordance with our procurement policy:
«An assessment must always be made of the real need and whether it can be solved without increased consumption.”
The next step is to reuse things. BI considers reuse e.g. by reupholstering/repainting furniture and reusing furniture and building materials. When purchasing furniture and other inventory, quality is an important criterion in addition to price. Good quality can prolong the lifespan of the product. An example of this is that in 2020, BI relacquered 480 Arne Jacobsen chairs rather than buying new chairs.
Acting in accordance with circular economy principles is natural for our employees who is responsible for managing and maintaining our inventory.
When BI no longer have use for some inventory, but the inventory is still usable, it is given away. An example of this is that in 2021, 39 pallets of office furniture (chairs, tables, cupboards and screen walls), with a total weight of 1.3 tonnes, were moved from BI campus Oslo to BI campus Bergen. Another example is that equipment has been given away to a camp school in Sandefjord on several occasions.
For questions about reuse at BI, please feel free to contact Greta Koch, who is responsible for the Eco-Lighthouse at BI: firstname.lastname@example.org
The next step is for the waste to enter a circular cycle and be recycled into new materials. BI aims to achieve 65 % material recycling of our waste. Per September 2022, we can show a 57 % material recycling rate.
BI Oslo sorts the waste into 19 waste types, and the sorting rate is 67 %, showing that the material recycling rate is not necessarily the same as the sorting rate. This is due to the fact that some sorted fractions are not material recycled today. This is the case for mixed plastic, which is incinerated. It is a goal that the number of waste types that are material recycled is increased.
A high sorting rate is also good from an economic perspective, since it usually is cheaper to deliver sorted waste compared to not sorted waste. The sorting rate however means that still 33 % of the waste on campus Oslo is generated as residual waste and incinerated (energy utilization). It is therefore also an ambition to reduces the amount of residual waste.