Domestic producers and importers of insulating glass units must participate in a take-back system.
Between 1965 and 1975 windows and doors with insulating glass units containing PCB, were used in buildings in Norway. PCB is carcinogenic and a hazard that may directly or indirectly damage humans and the environment. PCB will not naturally biodegrade, and must be collected and appropriately treated.
Sound management of discarded insulating glass units containing PCB, is a responsibility for producers, in other words the responsibility for businesses that manufacture insulating glass units or import insulating glass units and products containing insulating glass units to Norway. All domestic producers and importers are obliged to participate in a take-back system approved by the environmental authorities. More information about how you as a domestic producer or importer can meet the requirements given in the Waste Regulation are found here. (An unofficial translation of the Norwegian Waste Regulations are found here).
Ruteretur AS – Approved take-back system for discarded insulating glass units containing PCBs
Ruteretur AS operates an approved nationwide take-back system for discarded insulating glass units containing PCBs in Norway. Ruteretur was established by an agreement signed between the Ministry of the Environment and five industrial organizations 3. June 2002. Ruteretur is owned by five organizations each holding 20 percent:
Ruteretur AS is a non-profit organization. No owner may take a dividend. Ruteretur’s assignment is to develop, operate, manage, monitor and organize a cost-effective nationwide take-back system for discarded insulating glass units containing PCBs in accordance with the provisions of the chapters 11 and 14 in the national Waste Regulation.
The take-back system collects, handles and treats discarded insulating glass units containing PCBs. Ruteretur AS has agreements with most municipalities in Norway that they receive and separate insulating glass units containing PCBs. There are about 350 such reception points.
Norsk Gjenvinning AS, under contract with Ruteretur AS, collects these windows from the municipal reception points and from their own 18 regional reception centres. Norsk Gjenvinning AS separates the glass and the frames. The glass goes to recycling and the frames containing the PCB-sealants are incinerated in high temperature rotary kilns with the breakdown of the PCBs and with recovery of energy.
PCBs – a hazard that may directly or indirectly damage humans and the environment
PCB is short for polychlorinated biphenyls. PCB is carcinogenic and can harm the skin, the liver and the nervous system and lead to birth deformities. PCB will not naturally biodegrade, and is therefore stored in living organisms, in the adipose tissue.
PCB source – Older sealed double glazing windows
Between 1965 and 1975 more than 2 million windows with insulating glass units containing PCB, were used in buildings in Norway. The sealant contains around 70 grams of PCB in each window. This is enough to render 12 acres of land unsuitable for housing purposes if handled incorrectly.
For as long as the insulating glass units are in position in the window frames, they cause no health or environmental risks. PCB can be released when the glazing units are removed. Insulating glass units containing PCB are classified as hazardous waste. This leaflet gives information on PCB in insulating glass units and how they should be handled
Duties of domestic producers and importers of insulating glass units
All domestic producers and importers of insulating glass units or products where sealed glazing is included, has obligations laid down in the Waste Regulation.
Their obligations are:
- They have a duty to ensure that any holder of discarded windows containing PCBs, may deliver these to a take-back system for appropriate treatment, on payment of a fee not exceeding the normal price for ordinary waste.
- They shall provide adequate information on the take-back system and on proper treatment of insulating glass units containing PCBs and on where such units can be delivered.
- They shall, unsolicited, provide their customers with information on which units may contain PCBs.
Producers and importers can only meet their duties by being a member of a take-back system approved by the Norwegian Environment Agency. Being a member of Ruteretur AS involves an environmental fee to Ruteretur AS. The environmental fee is currently NOK 9, – exclusive VAT for each glazing unit put on the Norwegian marked.
Participants in the take-back system
The first player in the value chain, i.e. the domestic producer or importer to the Norwegian market of insulating glass units and products containing insulating glass units (facades, windows, doors, etc.) is the one who shall participate in the take-back system.
The participants in Ruteretur AS have signed a standard agreement with Ruteretur AS. The standard agreement document for membership in Ruteretur AS, may be downloaded here. The participants will pay an environmental fee. The fee may be continued throughout the value chain to the end user / customer.
Lists of participants
Report form for fee
All participants shall on a monthly basis (by the 15th in following month) report the amount of produced/imported insulating glass units and units in products put on the Norwegian marked. The completed fee form is the basis for a monthly invoice from the Ruteretur AS.
The report form can be downloaded here and submitted by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or you may fill out the form and send it by clicking form from here. The report form can also be printed and submitted as mail.
The fee is NOK 9,- per unit exclusive VAT. The payment will inclusive VAT. A window with two units will have a total fee of: 2×9 = 18 NOK exclusive VAT.
The environmental fee is used to operate the take-back system
The environmental fee will finance an effective operation of the take back system in compliance with the provisions in the Waste Regulation and conditions in the approval document.
Where to deliver discarded sealed glass, units containing PCBs
Discarded insulating glass units containing PCBs can be delivered to the locale municipal reception point or directly to a regional reception centre. The municipality shall accept discharged glazing units containing PCBs from households, free of charge. The maximum price for delivery of insulating glass units in 2021 is NOK 1 500 per tonne exclusive VAT.
Ruteretur AS c/o Nomiko AS
Grenseveien 107, N-0663 Oslo, Norway