Norway: Exemplary recycling
Øvre Romerike Avfallsselskap IKS and Agder Renovasjon IKS are just two of many municipal companies in Norway that have used Komptech machines in waste treatment for over ten years. Komptech Area Sales Manager Christian Kulmer visited them to find out why Komptech machines and technologies are so popular with municipal operators here.
At 385,000 km² Norway is slightly larger than Germany in area. Population density is a low 17 people per km². But in waste treatment, especially recycling, Norway is right up there with the leaders. It recycles the maximum amount of valuable raw materials, and most of what remains is used for heat and electricity generation. Norway has 356 municipalities. Due to the low population density, it is common for several of these to join up to form an “interkommunalt selskap,” or IKS, that handles waste disposal jointly. Øvre Romerike Avfallsselskap IKS (ØRAS) and Agder Renovasjon IKS, which Christian Kulmer visited, are classic examples of this.
The tour starts in Mogreina hear Oslo, home of the ØRAS waste treatment centre. The plant is owned by the municipalities Ullensaker, Hurdal, Nannestad and Eidsvoll, and handles the waste of around 82,000 residents. Founded in 1980, at first it simply landfilled residential and commercial waste, as was common at the time. “In the 80s we landfilled about 98 percent of the waste that came in. Today that has reversed, and we landfill only 2.5 percent. The other 97.5 percent are recycled or used for heating,” explains Director Trym Denvik proudly. With his 40 or so employees he provides comprehensive services for the local population, ranging from waste collection, reloading, sorting, and waste wood processing to high-quality compost production.
“Demand for our compost is very high. Part of the reason is that it is very CO2-friendly, unlike peat extraction, which releases large amounts of CO2,” explains Denvik, adding, “We’ve never sold as much compost as we did this past February – perhaps because of climate change.” As a passionate Nordic skier he is personally unhappy about the snow-poor winter and unusually high temperatures for Norway.
MULTISTAR L3: versatility and energy efficiency
To make the compost, green cuttings, horse manure and fermentation residue from the nearby anaerobic digestion plant in Oslo are mixed together. After the end of the rotting period the compost is screened with a Komptech Multistar L3. It’s the second machine in the series that Øvre has used. Since 2009 the plant has placed its trust in Komptech screening technology. What they like most about the Multistar L3 is the universal utility of this 3-fraction star screener.
Operations Manager Arild Snekkerhaugen is very happy with the L3. “As a municipal waste company we have a special responsibility to the environment. So we really appreciate the energy efficiency of the L3, which we run on biodiesel, like all our other machines. We use the L3 for compost as well as to screen waste wood. It’s important for us that with just one machine we can get the desired grain size in both applications.”
Denvik and Snekkerhaugen have nothing but praise for local Komptech sales partner Magne Gitmark. “Through the years Gitmark has always given us great service and never let us down,” says Snekkerhaugen. He remembers an episode from ten years ago. “We had a defect on our first L3, but needed to finish the job quickly. Gitmark got us the replacement part we needed right away, so that we could take the machine back into operation in less than 24 hours. That was impressive, and it’s not something you quickly forget as a customer.”
In sporting hands: Agder Renovasjon IKS
The second visit is to the Agder Renovasjon IKS waste treatment centre in Arendal. Founded in 1985 by the three municipalities Arendal, Froland and Grimstad, this public company handles the waste of around 24,000 households. Director Kjetil Øygarden, a former professional handball player, is trainer for first-league club ØIF Arendal in his spare time. At the company, he leads a team of around 32 employees.
The work has many facets to it. It ranges from waste collection, reloading, sorting and disposal to waste wood processing and composting of green cuttings and household organics. “The quality of the products we make – especially the compost, but also the waste wood – has to constantly improve. Otherwise you end up sitting on the products,” says Øygarden of the challenges he faces.
A Komptech Multistar L3 plays a central role. Delivered in 2019, this star screen wins points for versatility. For example, Øygarden reports that they were able to fit it out with additional wind sifters in a very short time.
Komptech – from long conviction
Foreman Jørgen Hurvedal first worked with a Komptech machine over 15 years ago. He recalls, “we used to have a Mustang drum screener. Then we got a Multistar L2, and since last year we’ve had the new Multistar L3. There’s also a Crambo 5200 that we use to shred green cuttings for compost as well as for waste wood.”
Asked about what they especially like about the L3, the people in charge at Agder Renovasjon IKS give answers similar to those at ØRAS: The screener is quiet, efficient, flexible, versatile and maintenance-friendly. The high throughput and low energy consumption are also key factors. These attributes, which are especially important for municipal operations, make the Multistar L3 almost unique on the market.
Foreman Hurvedal adds an advantage that is very important in operations at Agder Renovasjon IKS: “We process and store our compost outdoors. That means it can get very wet. Thanks to Komptech’s patented Cleanstar cleaning system, the L3 retains outstanding separation precision even with wet material.”
At the end of the visit Christian Kulmer looks in at the “Gjenbruksbutikk”, the company’s own second-hand shop, which Øygarden is especially proud of. Here, discarded but still functional everyday items are offered at modest prices. That keeps them out of final disposal, and brings satisfaction to their new owners. Another exemplary form of recycling!