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Photo: HSY / Suvi-Tuuli Kankaanpää

Biowaste sorted better than before in Helsinki Region

The residents of the Helsinki metropolitan area sort their biowaste more carefully than before. This is evident at the biowaste processing plant in Espoo’s Ämmässuo, which has this year received 4–5 percent more domestic biowaste than in 2015. Helsinki Region Environmental Services (HSY) processes about 50,000 tonnes of biowaste in a year.

“The growth in biowaste volumes is due to both increased sorting and the population growth in the region. The trend is positive, but we can still improve in biowaste sorting,” says Christoph Gareis, who is in charge of biowaste processing at HSY.

According to a new survey conducted by HSY, residents are now better aware than in 2015 about what happens to sorted biowaste. The awareness has encouraged residents to sort their biowaste better than before.

Biogas and mulch from banana peals and fish bones

HSY has upgraded its biowaste processing with a biogas plant built at the Ämmänsuo composting plant. The plants form one integrated process, in which the waste biodegrades and is composted. The biogas plant efficiently recovers the energy contained in biowaste. Biogas is used to produce renewable energy, both electricity and heat.

The compost produced at the composting plant is turned into mulch. Thus the humus and nutrients important for plants including phosphorous and nitrogen are returned back to nature.

“The recycling of biowaste allows us to produce renewable energy and to recover nutrients. In order that residents can better sort their biowaste, we have compiled biowaste sorting instructions on our waste sorting website, which includes a video that tells people how to make a biowaste bag from newsprint,” says environmental expert Minna Partti.

Read more:

HSY’s website on sorting of waste (in Finnish only)

Photo: HSY / Suvi-Tuuli Kankaanpää