Photo: Vigdis Nygaard, NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS

The major research questions of WANO are:

1. How and to what extent is the High North waste management environment influenced by international and national processes and their effects on regional and local levels? 

2.  How could the cross-border business and innovation cooperation be enhanced in Arctic waste management?

3. How do changes in waste management affect Arctic communities?


                     Photo: Remiks Miljøpark AS

To meet the project goals, WANO is organized under 7 interconnected work packages (WPs). The objectives of each WP are listed below.


WP1 deals with ongoing project management. It produces managerial project reports and
interacts with the NFR and with financial services at NORCE. WP1 will organize the administrative-consortium
parts of the kick-off meeting (in Tromsø), the mid-term meeting (Finland) and final meeting (in
Tromsø). The WP1 will produce mid-term and final administrative project reports.


The WP2 will elaborate a common conceptual and methodological foundation for the project and provides
guidance on how to analyze waste management in the Arctic context. WP2 develops a methodology to
analyze the major processes, value chains, similarities and differences of waste handling and logistics and
waste management with focus on regional and local communities. The construction of the analytical
framework is a major deliverable of the WP2 work


WP3 analyses the key political and legal determinants and factors influencing operation of waste
management systems in Norway and Finland as well as the cross-border business cooperation, according to
the guidelines set by the Methodology work package. WP3 will provide the non-research organisations within
waste management with the in-depth information on the existing political and legal framework for operation
of this branch in respective countries with a comparative study of both systems to identify potential areas
for enhanced business cooperation. Moreover, this WP will also set the collaboration on waste management
in a broader context of international processes on the global (UN SDGs), regional (EU, Arctic Council) and
sub-regional (Barents cooperation) levels to assess possibility of spill-over effects and to determine possible
impacts on the Norwegian cross-border bilateral relations and broader collaboration within the
Barents multilateral institutions.


WP4 analyses the challenges, opportunities and concrete ways to increase cross-border business and
innovation cooperation in High North waste management according to the guidelines set by the WP2. WP4

is of particular interest to the non-research organisations as it includes concrete matchmaking activities
and analysis and development of new cross-border business and innovation solutions.


WP5 studies the social aspects of introducing new waste management systems (or more limited changes in
the present system). This WP draws on experiences on challenges which will be defined together with the
WANO research and business partners. This will enable us to identify key challenging themes/issues that can
be studied specifically (e.g. social aspects related to introduction of new incineration facility, introduction of
new system of household sorting), and to pick local cases for further studies (Tromsø, Harstad, Oulu…).


The WP6 brings the common aspects of WPs 3-5 together. The WP6 team will produce, based on an
interactive exchange, a summary report of case studies, the cross-case analysis, and the collection of the
scientific articles, as a background briefing paper to serve the Synthesis Meeting.


The scientific outcomes will be disseminated via high-level journals including Environment
and Society, Regional Studies, Sustainability and Polar Geography. The non-scientific communication has
local, national, and international decision makers as important target groups, including e.g. Arctic local
communities, regional authorities, institutions such as Arctic Council, Arctic Mayors’ Forum, relevant national
ministries. The waste management companies and their key stakeholders in Northern Norway, Northern Finland and Northern Sweden will be given specific attention as target group in communicating the study results.