Let's sort waste together

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Sorting is the first step in recycling

If you take the time to properly sort your home waste, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much less mixed waste you produce. The weekly amount of most types of waste can usually fit into a small container.

Even if your apartment is small, you can easily make room for containers for biowaste, clean plastic packaging, paper, cartons and cardboard, metal, and glass jars and bottles. Once you've sorted all this, you'll be left with just a very small amount of mixed waste.

Did you know that waste management companies offer convenient search tools, which give you recycling instructions for almost every kind of waste within seconds? Whether you need to get dispose of styrofoam, furniture, or a Christmas tree, you can find the right place to do so immediately.

To help you get started, we've compiled a list of links to local waste management companies that offer specific instructions for each municipality. You'll find the list at the end of this article.

So, what goes into mixed waste, i.e. burnable waste?

Mixed waste is also called landfill waste, dry waste, or burnable waste. It can be processed at waste management facilities, where it is burned to generate energy in the form of electricity or heating.

An easy rule of thumb is that anything you can't sort into your recycling containers goes into mixed waste. This includes, for example:

  • dirty plastic products and packaging, as well as styrofoam
  • dirty paper, cartons and cardboard
  • used hygiene products
  • cleaning waste and dust bags
  • PVC
  • cigarette butts
  • material that contains aluminium (such as crisp bags with a foil interior) - pens and markers
  • mirror glass, porcelain, ceramics and chrystal (please wrap these in paper to avoid accidental injuries)

How can I recognise PVC?

Look for the symbol of a triangle with the number 3 inside to identify packaging that contains PVC. If you don't see this symbol, you can do a simple folding test. Clear plastic that turns white when folded is likely to be PVC and should be sorted as mixed waste.

Joo Kodit offers free biowaste bags

Biowaste bag

We care about our environment and want to make recycling as easy as possible. That's why we have started distributing free biowaste bags to Joo Kodit residents in some localities. Get yours from selected offices - ask more from your rental agent!

Biowaste includes, for example:

  • Food waste and spoiled food
  • Fruit and vegetable peels
  • Fish cleaning waste
  • Coffee and tea grinds and filters
  • Plants and leaves
  • Kitchen roll and serviettes

However, please note that in some municipalities, the waste management company might ask you to sort egg shells, for example, as burnable waste, i.e. mixed waste.

Hazardous waste?

You might be surprised to learn that some everyday items that you might instinctively dispose of in mixed waste, such as cleaning products and cosmetics, are classified as hazardous waste. You can, however, recycle the completely dry and empty packaging of hazardous waste according to the packaging material.

Municipalities typically have designated collection points for hazardous waste. What's more, you can drop off hazardous items like Sodastream gas cylinders and batteries at a collection box in your local supermarket. Unused medications can be taken to a pharmacy.

Hazardous waste includes, for example:

  • solvents such as acetone and solvent-based detergents, as well as adhesives and nail polishes
  • pressure vessels that contain or have contained gas
  • aerosol packaging, including hair sprays, deodorants, and shaving creams
  • alkaline detergents
  • pesticides and disinfectants
  • compact fluorescent lamps, fluorescent tubes and energy-saving lamps
  • batteries, including button batteries and rechargeable batteries
  • mercury thermometers
  • medicinal substances

For your own safety, it's crucial to handle hazardous waste properly and avoid storing it for extended periods in your home

You'll find your nearest recycling location for hazardous waste on the kierrätys.info website, also in English.

How about furniture?

If you're redecorating or moving out, you can recycle your unwanted furniture in a variety of ways. However, the one place it doesn't belong is your housing company's waste collection point.

Instead, consider taking your furniture to a recycling centre or donating it to the Red Cross collection Kontti. Many recycling centres and Kontti also offer pick-up services, making it even easier to recycle your furniture and give it a new lease on life.

Avoid putting textiles into mixed waste

If you have clothes that are still usable but you no longer need, many charity organisations will be happy to accept them. You can find clothes collection boxes at most recycling points, where you can leave your old clothes in a plastic bag.

Additionally, thanks to a new law, some shopping centers now offer free textile waste collection for worn-out and unusable clothes and home textiles.

However, please note that any dirty, moldy, or wet textiles, as well as socks and underwear, still belong in mixed waste.

Tips for easier recycling

  • Rinse plastic, glass, and metal packaging with cold water and let them dry before sorting them for recycling.
  • Wet and dirty paper and cardboard can go in the energy waste bin.
  • If in doubt, crunch! Metallic packaging that stays crunched can be recycled with metal items.
  • You can fold DIY biowaste bags from a variety of recyclable materials, such as newspaper, paper bags, or envelopes.
  • Check what recycling options are available in the waste collection point of your apartment complex. Make recycling a part of your daily routine by keeping separate containers for at least these types of waste at home.

Look after the environment by sorting your waste

Thanks sorting your waste and doing your part to protect the environment. Recycling is a small effort that makes a big difference.

Where can I find my local recycling instructions?

Check your local waste management company's website for recycling guidelines specific to your municipality:

See instructions for the Greater Helsinki area

See instructions for Porvoo and Sipoo

See instructions for Oulu ja Kempele

See instructions for Turku

See instructions for Pirkanmaa

See instructions for Jyväskylä

See instructions for Vaasa

See instructions for Hämeenlinna, Nurmijärvi and Tuusula