Circular Copenhagen – Resource and Waste Plan 2024 (RAP24) adresses municipal waste from households and light industry waste. The target of the plan is to recycle 70 % of the municipal waste by 2024. This will amount to a reduction of 59,000 tons of CO2 per year. Recycling must triple in municipal reuse facilities in order to achieve this goal. 

The City of Copenhagen aims to be the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025 and the initiatives in RAP24 support this vision. Another motivating factor is to see Copenhagen become a leader in circular economics.

What are the innovative aspects and the climate mitigation and adaptation goals?

The plan contains a number of concrete initiatives, which are iterated along six themes:

1. Initiating waste sorting information campaigns, whichaims to improve collection of household waste for recycling by 14% (approx 8,025 tons CO2 reduction). Specifically, Copenhageners will be source separating their household waste into multiple fractions. These will be the following:  

  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Bio Waste
  • Glass, bottles and jars
  • Residual waste
  • Electronics
  • Bateries
  • Hazardous waste
  • Garden waste
  • Bulky waste/wood

2. Improving waste collection methods and implementing source separation, which aims to further improve collection of household waste by 3% (approx. 2,550 tons CO2 reduction).

3. Stimulating reuse and exchange, which aims to see the city reuse 5,880 tons of waste (approx 240 tons CO2 reduction). 

4. Promoting a circular economy, which aims to further improve collection of household waste for recycling by 6% (approx. 3,410 tons CO2 reduction). 

5. Improving commercial waste recycling, whichaims to improve collection of commercial waste for recycling by 15%. 

6. Integrating new technological solutions for waste treatment, which aims to improve sorting of household waste for recycling by 6% (approx 25,150 tons CO2 reduction).

In-line with these broad themes, the Circular Copenhagen Plan aims to stimulate innovation through a number of specific actions such as:

  • Establishment of a dedicated innovation platform: Bringing together innovative businesses, researchers and industry professionals.  
  • Providing a test facility for sorting of plastics: The City of Copenhagen runs a facility that is open to businesses as well as researchers. A robotics-based sorting of a plastics technology is currently being tested. 
  • Testing out new waste collection technology: The City of Copenhagen aims to test new methods of waste collection. Today waste collection is primarily carried out by waste trucks running on natural gas or biogas. These trucks will be replaced by electric vehicles (autonomous vehicles and small electric vehicles are also being testes) to reduce noise and air emissions.

Next Steps

The City of Copenhagen aims to become a global leader in urban circular economy and the Circular Copenhagen Plan’s ambitions reflect that.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
Key Impact
70% of municipal waste recycled in 2024, amounting to 59,000 tons of CO2. Recycling tripling in municipal reuse facilities.
Emissions Reduction
59,000 tons CO2
January 1, 2019
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