But the city council is still keeping the door open for littering fines sometime in the future.
It was in 2022 that the red-green city council presented its proposal for new waste disposal regulations.
It should clarify what duties the households have and what kind of responsibility the municipality has.
Fine of NOK 12,230
One point attracted attention. The Renovation and Recycling Agency (REG) would have the option of fining people for mis-sorting at the source. The city council supported the idea.
In the extreme, people could be fined NOK 12,230 for throwing rubbish in the wrong bag.
After NRK mentioned the case, the city council withdrew the whole case. It happened on the same day that Oslo City Council was to adopt the regulation.
The then environmental councilor Sirin Stav (MDG) said that it had never been intended to punish people for throwing rubbish in the wrong bag, but to crack down on more serious breaches of the rules.
Lack of authorization
Now the blue-green city council is putting forward the proposal for waste rules again.
This time, the entire section on littering fines is gone.
Or “violation fee”, as it is called in bureaucratic terms.
The city council justifies this with the fact that the municipality per today does not have authority from the state to issue such fines.
It is not clear if, when or to whom such authority will be given, writes environmental councilor Marit Vea.
But she keeps the door open:
“If such authority is delegated to the municipalities, Oslo municipality will be able to assess again whether an infringement fee is an appropriate sanction for breaching the regulations.”
NRK has asked Marit Vea if she thinks it will ever be relevant to fine people for throwing rubbish in the wrong bag.
– Theyt to use an infringement fee as a sanction for incorrect source sorting, we must consider if, or when, the authorization is given to us, she says.
People throw mistakes
Throwing rubbish in the right bag is not so easy, it turns out.
In Oslo, food waste must be put in a green bag. Plastic shell in purple bag. And residual waste in a normal plastic bag.
According to REG’s waste analysis from 2023, half of the food waste ends up in the wrong bag. Only a third of plastic waste is disposed of correctly.
This is approximately the same result as in 2021.
May impose a fee
But even if the fines are scrapped, Oslo municipality has a rice behind the mirror.
They already have the opportunity today to charge an additional fee if people make mistakes that cost the municipality money to correct.
The fee is then intended to cover the municipality’s costs.
This could be removing waste that people have left incorrectly or cleaning up litter around return points.
Oslo municipality states that they have not yet used the opportunity to impose this fee.