Waste production per waste type
Recycled paper and cardboard
The reuse of recycled paper and cardboard is one of the oldest waste recycling schemes in Finland. In 2004 altogether 1.1 million tonnes of paper were consumed in Finland, representing approximately 214 kilograms per person. Of this, 71% (i.e. 0.80 million tonnes) was recycled. Together with Germany, Finland is the world's leading country in paper recycling. Recycled paper and cardboard are utilised as a raw material for printing paper, soft tissues and packing board.
In Finland, over 2 million tonnes of packaging are used annually but only about 600 000 tonnes of packaging waste per year is generated because over two-thirds of the packaging used in Finland are reusable and reused (e.g. bottles). Of the packaging waste generated, almost 70% (i.e. 413 000 tonnes) was recycled or utilised as energy.
About 35 million tonnes of biodegradable waste are produced annually in Finland. Of this about 20 million tonnes originate from agriculture, 11 million tonnes from the manufacturing sector (particularly from the forest industry), and 3 million tonnes (incl. sewage sludge) from municipalities. In 2000 about 2.8 million tonnes of biodegradable waste, about half of it originating from municipalities, were landfilled. Although a large amount of biodegradable waste from the forest industry was reused (almost 90%), about 1.1 million tonnes of this waste were deposited in landfills. In 2004, approximately 1.2 million tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste were landfilled. If the downward trend in the landfill disposal of biodegradable municipal waste continues, the reduction targets set for the years 2005 and 2006 will be achieved.
Today most of the hazardous waste originates from industry. According to Statistics Finland, in 2003 altogether 1.3 million tonnes of hazardous waste were produced, of which about 1 million tonnes came from the manufacturing sector. A large amount of the hazardous waste, about 900 000 tonnes, consisted of process waste from metal refineries and the chemical industry. Other large waste fractions included waste oils, waste from thermal processes, and solvents. Approximately 55% of the hazardous waste was deposited in special landfills dedicated to hazardous waste. The remaining wastes were treated, incinerated or recycled by licensed facilities.