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Incorrect waste sorting can provide fees

the Reality is sometimes not so far from the imagination. Organic Bolius’ April fools 2020 was about, that you could get a fine if you sorted your waste incorre

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Incorrect waste sorting can provide fees

the Reality is sometimes not so far from the imagination. Organic Bolius’ April fools 2020 was about, that you could get a fine if you sorted your waste incorrectly, and for example, mixed plastic with household waste.

It is not bad at all.

A number of Danish municipalities have introduced the possibility to issue fines if the citizens can't figure out how to follow affaldsreglerne and sort correctly. There is, however, not as strict rules as in aprilsnarren.

- as such There is not a penalty, but the municipalities have the opportunity to introduce a fee for improper handling of waste. The fee shall cover the additional costs that the municipalities have had, if the citizens have the sorted waste is wrong - for example, to the extra flushes.

- in Addition, there are in some cases able to get a fine from the police if the citizen fails to sort in accordance with the packaging waste compliance schemes, which are established in the citizen's municipality, says Signe Grandt Adsersen, head of Centre for supply under the Dea.

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It is the municipalities who have the responsibility to manage and establish rules for the sorting of waste, and the responsibility is regulated by two decrees: the so-called Affaldsaktørbekendtgørelse under the Climate, Energy and Forsyningsministeriet and Affaldsbekendtgørelsen under the ministry of the environment.

It means overall, that the municipalities are obliged to draw up a regulation for household waste, where it appears to you as a citizen need to sort your waste into different waste fractions, for example municipal waste, plastic, cardboard and so on.

- the local authorities have, with some exceptions, the right to know the power to determine how the waste must be sorted, and whether the fractions are collected at the household or, for example, must be delivered to the genbrugspladsen – and also, on the through the fees will obtain any additional costs, if citizens are not sorted correctly.

- the Municipalities may also establish additional collection schemes, so the citizens for example must sort the waste further, and they have the right to establish different rules, for example, single-family homes and apartment buildings, says Signe Grandt Adsersen and continues:

- It must contribute to the cross of Denmark, so far as possible, recycle our waste and not throw everything to the combustion. It helps to reduce the emission of CO2, reduce our use of resources and create a circular economy, where resources in waste can be used as long as possible.


One of the municipalities that have adopted the fee for the incorrect sorting of the waste, is Albertslund in the copenhagen Perform. Although the possibility of fee has existed in the municipality since 2015, it has only been triggered a single time.

- In a housing association there was over some months problems, that residents of mixed waste, so it gave us some extra flushes. Therefore, it unleashed a fee of dkk 500. to had for each extra emptying. In addition, we are currently on the way to take to the police for two housing associations, says the mayor of Albertslund, Steen Christiansen.

Overall, individuals in Denmark to sort their waste. It must be done in accordance with the rules laid down in their own municipality.

the Municipality is obliged to establish rules for the 12 so-called factions: municipal waste, cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, metal, hazardous waste, electrical products, batteries, treated wood, PVC waste and construction/demolition.

Something needs to be sorted and put out at the dwelling, while another must on the recycling station.

in Addition, each of the municipalities the possibility to oblige the citizens to sort of further fractions.

Check out therefore, how the rules are in your municipality.

however, There is no question that the municipal employees are out to open the individual citizen's trash to check whether there is sorted correctly.

- We are always trying with the dialogue and information first, and mainly, to residential areas shall establish the opportunity for residents to sort properly – by, for example, to set the bins for residual waste, cardboard, plastic and so on.

- If we find that the residential areas repeatedly failed to live up to the responsibility, we have the opportunity to take fees. It will be a sledgehammer to crack a nut, if we were to put the individual citizen, explains Steen Christiansen.

in addition to Albertslund Municipality may also by the citizens of bl.a. Egedal and Brøndby get fees if they sort their waste incorrectly.

Do you turn on the sankthansbål in your own garden

the Rules for sorting waste in Denmark is, however, the clean water, if we compare with other countries around us.

In the Dutch city of the Hague for example you can get a fine of around 1,000 kr., if you are providing your household waste out too early, or too late, or if you put bulky waste out without a prior agreement.

In the English town of Whitehaven, there have been cases where a young family man has been given a fine of 110 pounds (approx. 935 kr.) to leave the lid on his trash can open.

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Organic Bolius is owned by Realdania.

Organic Bolius is non-commercial and sells neither products nor services.

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