Plant Health

Waste from compost- and biogas treatment facilities: assessment of risk to plant health and the environment


Report no:

Published: 18.10.2021

Key message:

VKM shall assess whether the methods used to treat waste in compost- and biogas plants ensure that foreign, harmful organisms do not spread in nature or pose a risk to plant health.


A circular economy encourages the protection of the environment and best possible use of resources. Using organic waste as a fertiliser and soil conditioner ensures that nutrients and organic materials in the waste can be put to good use. In addition, treating the waste in a biogas facility makes it possible to use the energy in such waste.

In Norway, a large quantity of organic waste is treated in biogas and composting facilities. Compost is used primarily in green spaces and gardens while a large proportion of digestate is used in agriculture.

It is important to ensure that waste used in the production of compost and digestate is treated in an adequate manner, to ensure that the products are free of infectious diseases, alien organisms and other undesired organisms.


The Norwegian Environment Agency wants to establish whether the methods currently used in the composting of garden waste and other types of plant waste can ensure that the finished product does not become a source for the spread of harmful alien organisms. This will form the basis for the Norwegian Environment Agency’s guidelines relating to precautionary provisions in the regulation on alien organisms.

Project group

The project group consists of:


Micael Wendell

Project manager, PhD

T: +47 21 62 28 22
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The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment

T: 21 62 28 00

P.O. Box 222 Skøyen
0213 Oslo

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