The future of waste management started today in Riihimäki: Ekokem opens Finland’s first Circular Economy Village

The official opening of the Circular Economy Village, built in Ekokem’s industrial area in Riihimäki, will be held today 20 June. In the Circular Economy Village, which is unique both nationally and internationally, materials included in municipal waste will be further 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. As an investment, the Circular Economy Village is worth 50 million euros and it employs dozens of people. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä will be guest speaker at the event.

- “We have in recent years grown from a Finnish waste management company into a truly Nordic circular economy company, and our goal is to continue on this growth path. The newly completed Circular Economy Village is an important and concrete example of this growth and direction. The Riihimäki Circular Economy Village is our reference plant, and we see great potential for replicating this concept elsewhere,” says Ekokem’s CEO Karri Kaitue.

The Eco Refinery of the Circular Economy Village will receive around 100,000 tonnes of municipal waste annually, from which the refinery will separate biowaste (around 37% of waste), plastic (10%), metal (3%) and recovered fuel suitable for industrial use (30%). Biowaste will be turned into biogas and fertilisers, and plastic and metal into recycled raw material for industry. In the Circular Economy Village, the recycling rate of municipal waste will rise to 50% and the utilisation rate to between 96 and 98%, when waste unsuitable for recycling is used to generate district heat and electricity in Ekokem’s waste-to-energy plants in Riihimäki.

- “Our plant is a pioneer of future waste management, the principle of which is that one person’s waste is another person’s raw material. The strict targets of the Circular Economy Package adopted by the European Commission will not be achieved without recycling solutions like these,” says Mari Puoskari, Senior Vice President of New Business Ventures at Ekokem.

- “Separate collection is needed for various fractions of municipal waste, such as metal, paper and plastic, but we also need industrial plants that can effectively separate materials for recycling before the remaining waste is used to generate energy,” Puoskari continues.

The Plastic Refinery of the Circular Economy Village will process not only plastics separated from municipal waste but also household plastic packaging, which has been collected separately throughout the country since the beginning of 2016.

For further information, please contact:

Karri Kaitue
tel. +358 40 501 5054

Mari Puoskari
SVP, New Business Ventures
tel. +358 50 537 2595