Recycling and sorting
A waste hierarchy guides our waste management. In principle, this means we prioritise the way we handle our waste as follows:
- We try to avoid generating waste in the first place.
- If waste is generated, it should be prepared for reuse.
- If reuse is not possible, recycle the waste as material or, as a second choice, as energy.
- Waste should go to a landfill only if no benefits can be recovered from it in a technically (or financially) feasible way.
Waste sorting – real estate waste management
Urbaser Oy is our partner for collecting sorted waste from the real estate and transporting it for further processing.
The waste should be sorted according to the following categories:
- Leftover food
- Coffee filters and teabags
- Paper towels and serviettes (table napkins)
Organic waste does not include:
- Potable liquids
- Sanitary towels (menstrual pads) or nappies (diapers), ash, cigarette stubs
- Plastic waste, receipts
- Cleaning waste, vacuum cleaner bags
Our collected organic waste is composted by Helsinki Region Environmental Services (HSY) at their eco-industrial centre in Ämmässuo, Espoo (page in Finnish). The end product is used as a topsoil for landscaping or as biomass for generating power and heat.
- Recyclable plastics include almost all plastic packages, such as food packaging, detergent bottles, disposable eating utensils (forks, knives, etc.), and plastic bags.
Plastic packaging does not include:
• Dishwashing brushes
• Shovels or spades
• Ring binders or folders
• Poly pockets (plastic sleeves for holding documents)
• CDs, DVDs or computer diskettes
Before disposal, the packages should be rinsed with a small amount of cold water. Do not pack the plastic packages too tightly inside each other.
Our collected plastic packaging is sent via the baling company Suomen Paalauskeskus Oy (page in Finnish) to Fortum’s reprocessing plant in Riihimäki, where the plastic is ground into granules for use as a renewed raw material in the plastics industry. The new products manufactured from the material include sprinkling cans, flowerpots and dish brushes.
- Paper hand towels
- Other combustible waste
Energy waste does not include:
- PVC plastics (when used in plastic pockets or sleeves, plastic folders or transparencies)
- Organic waste, garden waste
- Metal, glass, ceramics, porcelain
- CDs and DVDs
- Foil-lined cartons
- Pressure-impregnated wood
- Oil and acrylic paintings
- Chalk or pastel paintings/drawings
- Nappies (diapers) or sanitary towels (menstrual pads)
Lassila & Tikanoja Oyj collects the energy waste from the real estate owned by ACRE (Aalto University Campus and Real Estate). Energy waste is used to produce fuel for industry. Energy waste has better efficiency for this compared to mixed waste.
The leftover energy waste not used for industry is burned at the incineration plant in Vantaa. PVC plastics and composite packaging containing aluminum (such as UHT milk cartons and juice cartons, which belong to mixed waste) do not belong in energy waste.
- Glass jars and containers
- Non-returnable glass bottles
Glass waste does not include:
- Crystal objects
- Window glass
- Drinking glasses
- Thermal-resistant glass
Our collected glass waste is transported to the terminal of Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd, where it is sent on to England as renewable raw material. in the production of glass containers, glass wool, and foam glass.
- Tins (metal cans)
- Aluminium foil
- Metal bottlecaps and lids
- Leftover metal scraps (iron, steel or aluminium)
- Other metal waste
Metal waste does not include:
- Electrical or electronic waste
- Batteries (disposable or rechargeable)
- Spray cans or other pressurised containers
- Fluorescent tubes (including compact fluorescent lamps)
- Light bulbs or halogen lamps
Our collected glass waste is transported to the terminal of Finnish Packaging Recycling RINKI Ltd, where it is sent on for preprocessing before going on for industrial use as renewable raw material.
Nowadays, up to 50% of the metal used for new cars is recycled metal!
- Disposable coffee cups
- Cardboard containers from salad bars
Carton does not mean:
- Gift package boxes
Empty food scraps from the containers, rinse with cold water, and let dry. To save space, the containers should be flattened and put inside each other.
Our collected cardboard is sent to Vantaa for baling at Suomen Paalauskeskus Oy:lle (page in Finnish), then sent on to factories to be made into cardboard tubes and raw material for corrugated cardboard.
- White office paper
- Coloured paper
- Notebook paper
Paper waste does not include:
- Soft, wet or dirty paper, copy paper packaging, charcoal drawings, plastic, charcoal drawings, styrofoam
- Oil, acrylic, chalk or pastel paintings/drawings
- Kraft paper, cardboard or corrugated cardboard
The paper collected from our sites is sent to Vantaa for baling at Suomen Paalauskeskus Oy (page in Finnish), then to factories to manufacture newspapers or paper towels.
Please note: Sensitive or secret documents should be put in their own bin for data-secure disposal. Shredded paper should be sorted as energy waste as it is unsuitable for paper waste collection.
- CDs and DVDs
- PVC plastic (when used in plastic pockets, sleeves and binders, for example)
- Light bulbs and halogen lamps
- Ceramics, porcelain and crystal
- Window panes, mirrors
- Nappies (diapers) and sanitary towels (menstrual pads)
- Leather, rubber
Mixed waste does not include:
- Any recyclable waste
- Hazardous waste, such as fluorescent lamps
Mixed waste is burned at the Vantaa Energy incineration plant to produce energy.
Mixed waste is the waste that remains at the end after all the waste that can be recycled or has recovery value has been sorted out.
Waste sorting – for users of Aalto spaces
Tenants and other users of Aalto spaces have waste-management responsibilities for the following:
- All papers containing confidential or secret information
Paper waste for secure disposal does not mean:
- Data storage media, such as memory sticks, DVDs, CDs, hard drives
- For disposing of other material containing secret or confidential information (e.g. storage media, workstations,
cell phones), contact the IT Service Desk. If you are moving out of an office, you can order a separate moving container.
Aalto University has a contract with Urbaser for the secure disposal of materials containing confidential data, such as paper, diskettes and hard drives. Suomen Tietoturva Oy is the operator, and their containers read ‘LHJ Group’.
- Please note: Certificates of secure destruction of electronic waste are not free of charge.
- When setting laptops aside for collection and disposal, you do not need to remove the battery.
- Aalto’s partner for disposing of electronics waste is Urbaser Oy. To order collection and disposal of electronic waste, see ‘Waste management service requests’ near the bottom of the page at: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/recycling-and-sorting
Aalto’s partner for collecting and recycling batteries is Paristokierrätys/Recser (https://www.paristokierratys.fi/en).
Aalto IT and Unigrafia organise the recycling of copy machine cartridges for colour printing as well as other waste colour containers.
- A box for collecting fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent lamps is located at almost every site around the campus properties.
- For details, ask a Lobby Services receptionist or person responsible for the building.
- If a collection box is full, contact Tanja Pietikäinen, ([email protected]).
Toner cartridge and waste toner containers recycling instructions you can find below.
- Chemical waste
- Paints, lacquers, solvents
Hazardous waste does not include:
- Batteries (include rechargeable batteries)
- Fluorescent lamps
- Energy-saving lights
- Electrical or electronic waste
- Printer toner cartridge, include colour toner cartridges
- Medicines (These should be returned to the pharmacy.)
Make sure you always sort your waste and put it in the bin that is specifically designated for it.
Lassila & Tikanoja Oyj is Aalto’s partner for disposal of hazardous wastes, such as paints, aerosols, oils and laboratory chemicals. More information on handling hazardous waste