New life for waste

Our primary goal is always to direct materials to reuse or recycling, as our operations are guided by the order of priority stipulated by law and the circular economy approach. Through our services, we promote our customers’ material and energy efficiency and reduce their costs. We strive to conserve virgin natural resources and mitigate climate change by replacing virgin raw materials with secondary raw materials and fossil fuels with bioenergy. 

Of all the material flows managed by L&T in 2016, 94 per cent was recovered (2015: 92%) and 54 per cent was recycled (2015: 53%). 

Managed material flows

​Caption: The reporting of waste managed by L&T is divided into materials sorted at source, mixed waste and hazardous waste. The reporting covers municipal waste, industrial waste and construction waste in Finland and Russia. Slurry, contaminated soil and ash are excluded from reporting.

Recycling and recovery rate of managed material flows

Caption: Pallets that are reused in accordance with the order of priority are one example of reuse. Energy recovery from waste is divided into two categories: recovery as a waste-derived fuel, and recovery in the incineration of mixed waste. Energy recovery as a waste-derived fuel includes solid recovered fuels, shredded used wood, tyre shreds used for energy production, as well as biogas and bioethanol produced from biowaste. L&T favours the use of waste that is unsuitable for recycling or environmental construction in energy production as solid recovered fuel.

Hazardous waste is treated at our own plants or delivered to our partners for recovery. In 2016, 66 per cent of hazardous waste was directed to be reused or recycled, and 10 was recovered as energy. 8.3 per cent was transported to other EU countries for treatment. We did not import any hazardous waste to Finland in 2016.​

Solutions for recycling challenging materials 

We continuously seek and develop solutions for the recycling and recovery of various waste materials. 

  • In 2016, we continued the separate collection of roofing felt, decommissioned gypsum board, sheet glass and white porcelain, among other things. These materials can be best circulated by developing sorting at source at construction sites. We direct roofing felt for use as raw material in asphalt production, while gypsum board is used in the manufacture of new gypsum products. Sheet glass is used to produce products such as fibreglass or foam glass, while concrete and bricks are used in landscaping.  

  • The collection of mixed plastic packaging materials from properties began in 2016 in Hämeenlinna, Savonlinna and Turku. The plan is to expand the service to new towns in 2017.  

  • A textile collection pilot was started at the Sello shopping centre in Espoo in 2015, and it continued until the end of March 2016. The textiles were directed to charitable purposes, as raw material for oil absorbent pads and for sale to be reused. In autumn 2016, the collection of textiles began at five collection points in Tuusula and at the Karisma shopping centre in Lahti. The clothes from the collection points in Tuusula are directed to a European cooperation partner for reuse and material recycling. The collection at Karisma supports children and young people in Lahti who are at risk of exclusion.

  • In November 2016, we participated in Hack the Waste, an innovation competition organised by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, to challenge the participants to come up new uses for wood chips, which are primarily recovered as energy. Our team won the innovation competition by proposing a value-added use for wood chips in the form of substrate for growing mushrooms, a combination that will subsequently provide cost-efficient materials for purposes such as the manufacture of packaging. 

The magic of recycling:
shave off hundreds of thousands from waste costs.

New service concepts for reducing and recycling waste

In addition to our actual recycling channels, we develop new service concepts to support the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste. 

  • Our Kimppanouto​ collection share service allows the customer to request a pick-up service for unnecessary or broken goods that are then directed to be reused or recycled for materials. The service has already been introduced in the Helsinki metropolitan area. In 2016, some 950 pick-ups were made under the service concept to collect approximately 90,000 kilograms of goods that were no longer used by their owners.

  • In 2016, we launched Hävikkimestari, a new digital service to help restaurants reduce their food waste. The restaurants that have begun using the Hävikkimestari service have reduced their food wastage by 30–50 per cent, yielding significant cost savings to the customers. A total of 36,607 kilograms of food was saved from being wasted with the help of the Hävikkimestari service in 2016. This corresponds to 73,214 meals and EUR 92,000. Hävikkimestari won an environmental prize from the Finnish Fair Foundation and it was also chosen as one of the year’s best pro-climate initiatives by the City of Helsinki Climate Partners network in autumn 2016. 

  • At Christmas 2016, we participated in Kinkkutemppu (“Ham Trick”), a campaign launched by the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland to collect the grease accumulated from the baking of the traditional Christmas ham at centralised collection points. Altogether 12 000 kg of grease was collected for the purpose of producing 10 000 litres of renewable diesel. In the past, the grease from Christmas ham has mostly been disposed of in mixed waste. The proceeds from the sale of the fuel were donated to Finnish charities.