Only 1% municipal waste disposed to landfill sites

10 Jan 2019, 03:21

  DF Report

DF Photo by Iqbal Hossain.

The total amount of municipal waste was 2,744,655 tonnes in 2017 and the amount has remained at the same level as in the last few years, according to Statistics Finland.

Disposal of municipal waste at landfill sites has decreased strongly according to the prevailing development in recent years.

In 2017, only around one per cent of municipal waste was disposed at landfill sites. It has been replaced by recovery of waste: both energy production and material recovery are competing for the recovery of former landfill waste. Recovery of municipal waste as energy has in recent years been the predominant recovery method.

The use of municipal waste as a fuel for district heat production of built-up areas has become established and its role has grown there. Organic components included in energy-recovered municipal waste also curb greenhouse gas emissions in case they replace the use of fossil fuels.

Slightly less municipal waste than before ends up in material-specific separate collection and through it to recycling.

However, plastic, wood, paper and paperboard containing mixed components are also collected for energy recovery and are separated from other municipal waste. If we add up separately collected or separated waste components for recycling and energy recovery, the amount of waste separated from mixed waste into recovery has grown.

In 2017, around 99 per cent of municipal waste was recovered, which is more than ever before. The share of material recovery fell to 39 per cent, but the share of energy recovery went up to 60 per cent. The material recovery rate is high particularly for fibre packaging and other collected fibre. Most of biowaste is composted or digested, in total around 370,000 tonnes. The digestion residue is used in soil improvement or landscaping, as is compost soil.

The growth in the amount of municipal waste has evened out in recent years, varying between 2.7 and 2.8 million tonnes. Calculated per capita, the amount has stabilised at around 500 kilogrammes a year. In 2017, the ratio decreased by a few kilogrammes from the previous year and stood at 498 kilogrammes per capita.