Danish government poised for legal pursuit of landslide waste company

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish government poised for legal pursuit of landslide waste company
The Nordic Waste site at Ølst near Randers on January 18th. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s government said it will pursue ‘all judicial options’ after a waste disposal company involved in an environmentally hazardous landslip declared bankruptcy.


The company, Nordic Waste, is involved in purification of polluted earth to allow its reuse. It declared bankruptcy on Friday in the wake of a large and potentially environmentally hazardous landslip at its plant at Ølst, south of Randers.

Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke said at a government briefing that the company was showing “a complete lack of societal responsibility” by potentially avoiding costs related to the landslip.

Heunicke said that the government would take any legal action necessary to make sure “a large part of the bill” for the damage control work lands with the polluter, meaning Nordic Waste.

Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard however said there was a risk that taxpayers could end up paying for the damage.


“We can’t stand here today and issue any guarantees,” Hummelgaard said.

Laws related to bankruptcy and company ownership are among those the justice ministry will look at, he said.

In December, a landslide at the soil treatment company meant that there was a risk of soil cascading onto the road. 

"There is a danger that the amount of soil, which was being treated inside the facilities of Nordic Waste is moving through some of their buildings and out onto the motorway," Rene Ludvig of East Jutland Police said at the time, describing the situation as "critical". 

The company was later ordered to move some 8,000 tonnes of ‘mildly polluted’ earth from its Ølst facility to a former landfill at Fasterholt near Herning, in order to ward off environmental damage as more heavy snow worsened the situation.  

The landfill is equipped to receive the polluted earth, its site director said.

“There’s nothing special about what we’re getting from Randers compared to what we get from anywhere else. As long as the criteria in our environmental permits are complied with, we’ll not see any problems,” the director of local sanitation company AFLD, Poul Kristensen, told Ritzau on January 15th.


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