In June 2016, the Circular Economy Village was inaugurated in Riihimäki, Finland. The Circular Economy Village is a refinery complex developed by Ekokem, which Fortum acquired in 2016.
In the village, municipal waste is processed through the Eco Refinery - an automated sorting plant, the Plastic Refinery - the first in Finland to produce recycled plastic, and the Bio Refinery, which produces biogas and is owned by our partner Gasum. The concept of the Circular Economy Village is unique, both nationally and internationally.
Once fully operational, the Eco Refinery of the Circular Economy Village will annually receive around 100,000 tonnes of municipal waste, from which the refinery will separate biowaste (about 30% of the waste), plastic (4%), metal (3%) and recovered fuel suitable for industrial use (50%). The remaining amount is reject, which is not suitable for recovery.
The biowaste will be turned into biogas and fertilisers, and the plastic and metal into recycled raw material for industry use. The reject will be used to generate electricity and district heat in our waste-to-energy plants in Riihimäki.
The Circular Economy Village is a pioneering example of future waste management. The guiding principle is that waste should be utilized as a raw material when it is economically viable. The strict targets of the Circular Economy Package adopted by the European Commission will not be achieved without recycling solutions like these.