Skip to content


Recycling of waste to material

Resource efficient production

Denmark Values Waste as a Resource

More recycling and less incineration. These are the main points in the new resource strategy “Denmark without waste” launched by the Minister of the Environment Ida Auken. The message from the Minister is clear: To perceive waste as a resource that can be used again, thus making Denmark a society free of waste. In the future, Denmark must incinerate and deposit less waste and become better at utilising the value and resources embedded in it.

“We must recycle more and incinerate less. It is my mission to make Denmark a waste-free society that recycles as many materials as possible. That is why we must sort our trash so we can extract the value from the waste. It is good for the environment and it can create new jobs and business opportunities”, says Minister of the Environment Ida Auken.

From waste to value
The resource strategy means that Denmark will incinerate less waste and instead significantly increase recycling as well as improve the quality of the recycling process. It can create jobs in the waste sector and create a Danish stronghold within waste management.

“Today we incinerate food scraps that could become biogas. We incinerate sludge from wastewater that could be used as fertiliser. And we incinerate electronics that contain noble metals. We have become too good at incinerating and too bad at recycling. And that is why a lot of value is lost. It is bad for the environment and makes no sense in a world where demand for resources increases every day", says the minister.

More sorting of trash
When we mix potato peels, paper, shampoo bottles and empty beer cans in the trash bin, it is incinerated and valuable resources end up in smoke. Denmark can reuse twice as much household trash in 2022 through better means of sorting trash.

“It is important that it is simple for people to sort their trash. Many municipalities have already started. That is why we will support the municipalities work by finding examples of good, simple and usable solutions, from which the municipalities can use as a source of inspiration", explains the minister.

The resource strategy is expected to entail that Denmark:

  • Recycles six times as much organic waste from households in 2022
  • Recycles twice as much household trash in 2022
  • Utilises four times as much food waste from restaurants and food stores to biogas in 2018
  • Reuses one forth more of paper-, cardboard-, glass-, metal- and plastic packaging in the service sector in 2018
  • Removes the environmentally harmful materials from construction waste
  • Collects 75% of all electronics from households in 2018
  • Reuses or utilises 70% of the shredder waste for a source of energy in 2018

- Download the Resource Strategy: Denmark Without Waste

Source: Danish Ministry of the Environment 

For more news, visit out Newsroom

You should consider reading

Recycling of waste to material
Resource efficient production


Job creation and transition


Sound of Green, a podcast series with insights from Denmark’s green transition

27 January 2023
From managing cloudbursts to setting up climate partnerships, we examine how Denmark has turned acute climate challenges into new opportunities. In our podcast series Sound of Green, experts convey how Danish experiences can push the needle toward global green transition. Find it on Spotify, Apple Podcast and


Wind energy


10 green news stories from Denmark in 2022

22 December 2022
With a significant focus on energy transition, 2022 has been buzzing with new climate pledges and cross-border initiatives. In this recap, we serve the ten most popular news stories published in 2022.


Living labs


Danish companies obtain the most green patents

16 January 2023
Known to be among the globe's most sustainable, Danish companies are number one in obtaining green patents in both Europe and the US over the past ten years.