Significant growth in material recycling in 2021

February 1, 2022
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In 2021, Geminor handled over 1.73 million tons of waste in Europe. Recycling of wood, plastic and paper is growing strongly, with fractions delivered for material recycling increasing by 38% over last year.

With a total volume in 2021 of 1,731,066 tons, Geminor consolidates its position as one of Europe's leading companies in the management of waste for recycling. Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) and Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) still account for around 2/3 of the total volume for Geminor in Europe, which due to COVID has marginally dropped by 3 percent compared to 2020.

When waste fuel volumes fall slightly, this is compensated by other fractions: The handling of waste wood grows by 70,800 tons to 382,727 tons in 2021, and is the second largest fraction for Geminor. The handling and shipment of cardboard and paper waste (RCP) increases by as much as 36 percent to 88,000 tons, while the focus on waste plastics increases volumes from 5,300 to 10,500 tons. The handling of so-called hazardous waste increases by almost 70 percent, to 29,000 tons in 2021.

Chemical recycling of plastics is a focus area for Geminor.

Norway is the largest market for Geminor with around 720,000 tons of waste in total - up from 688,000 tons in 2020. In Norway, the handling of RDF/SRF is increasing by over 60,000 tons, while the handling of paper for recycling is up by 14,000 tons.

Increase in material recycling

At the same time, the handling of waste for material recycling increased during last year: In 2020, Geminor sent 166,200 tons of waste as raw material for material recycling, a volume that increased to 230,000 tons in 2021. The increase is over 38 percent.

- Recycling of waste wood remains the largest fraction, with 104 000 tons in total in 2021. But last year also saw growth in cardboard and paper waste (RCP), which is now almost as important as wood for Geminor. At the same time, the focus on waste plastic for chemical recycling continues, including in the form of projects with our partner Quantafuel, says CEO of Geminor, K. Dir. in Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.

- "All things considered, we are very pleased with the total volumes in 2021, and not least with meeting the target of more than 200,000 tons for recycling by 2022," says Vikingstad.

Turbulent market

Geminor is stationed in nine countries in Europe and closely monitors developments in the individual markets. "2021 was also a turbulent year for the waste industry in Europe," concludes Vikingstad.

CEO of Geminor AS, Kjetil Vikingstad.

- The COVID year 2021 has been another challenging year for the European waste industry in terms of volumes, logistics, transportation and varying market mechanisms. In particular, the handling of RDF has been abnormal this year, with lower volumes in circulation due to lower exports from countries such as the UK and Finland. At the same time, other countries have seen growth - such as Poland, Denmark and Italy - which has helped to balance the books.

- The fact that more and more countries can supply raw materials for material or energy recovery helps to save the total supply in Europe in 2021, concludes CEO Kjetil Vikingstad. Dir. in Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.