“When we were updating our strategy in 2017, we noticed that the recycling of construction waste was not working. Our customer companies wanted to recycle their construction waste efficiently while also using recycled material in their operations. However, the recycled material was often of such a poor quality that it could not be used for anything.
Our business is based on the circular economy, but we wanted to take a leap forward. We have built a recycling plant in Vantaa and its operation was launched during summer 2021. The plant will process material on two lines: one will process construction waste generated by new construction projects and the other materials such as wood and plastic from the retail trade and industry, which would otherwise end up as energy waste. The recycling plant will quadruple our waste processing capacity in the Helsinki Metropolitan area.
If we want to be able to reuse the waste generated in the construction industry and retail trade, the material must be pure and of a high quality. Thanks to artificial intelligence, we can sift out pure raw material from waste and recover it to be reused by companies and industry.
For example, different kinds of plastic can be identified from the waste processed in the Vantaa plant and the plant sorts them correctly. The recycled material does not need to be processed, broken down or boiled chemically, it is ready to be reused straight away. The final product can include more than 90 per cent pure material.
In addition to the quality, the advantage is that is it domestically generated. Before, companies had to take their waste to be processed in Estonia and other countries. Now they do not need to go further than Ring Road III. This enables us to raise the recycling rate in Finland and reduce the carbon dioxide emissions by removing the need to transport waste abroad.
Ten years ago, companies hauled their waste to landfills or incinerators. Today, the corporate social responsibility goals of many companies are stricter than international regulations. Our plant had attracted new customers even before it had opened. Our 35 million-euro investment is unique in Europe and it helps Finnish companies to raise their recycling rate to the next level.”