More improvements needed in Finland’s recycling efforts

New recommendations would help meet ambitious new plans to increase municipal recycling rate.

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File picture of household waste for recycling / Credit: News Now Finland

The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE says improvements and more efforts are needed to improve the country’s track record when it comes to recycling.

In a new report, SYKE identifies key areas where the whole country could be doing better.

Some of the measures to raise recycling rate and hit targets include more cooperation between operators; and increasing capacity for the collection of biowaste and plastics as well as cardboard, through more efficient sorting. Households should also receive better advice on how to sort their waste items.

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Syke considers the current way of collecting household waste to be the most costly option: with different containers for each type of waste, and a separate vehicle for waste collection. They say that to reduce environmental impact and costs, new collection systems such as multi-compartment or shared containers, and joint collection of waste products should be tested in areas with detached, semi-detached and row houses.

In 2018 Finland published new objectives for waste recylcing. By 2025 the objective is to recycle at least 55% of municipal waste, increasing that to 60% by 2030, and 65% in 2035.

At present Finland recycles just 41% of its municipal waste.