Fascinating experiences at Syklo—the circular economy as a summer job

This summer, an enthusiastic trio has been working at Syklo, some of whom have work experience from the previous summer as well. Labour management trainee Elle Niemistö receives support from environmental engineering students Krista Paaso and Samuli Heikkilä. The trio has worked extensively with process management, control, and development.

Elle Niemistö, who graduated as a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering this summer, is already familiar with the Syklo waste sorting plant through her summer job last year with operating tasks. After the summer, her employment continued alongside her studies, mainly drafting instructions. This summer, Niemistö is working as a labour management trainee and has gotten to give orientations for the summer employees. 

“At the beginning of the summer, we had a joint orientation period of a couple of weeks, where we worked closely together. After that, each summer employee moved on to their own shifts. We have still stayed in contact though during changes of shifts and over messages,” Niemistö shares. Krista Paaso and Samuli Heikkilä, who are completing their first summers at Syklo’s circular economy plant, have been working with the same tasks as Niemistö did the previous summer, primarily in control, maintenance, and servicing of the waste sorting processes.

“A large part of the workday is spent in the control room process monitoring and performing process control—the controls are performed remotely from the control room by utilising computers and cameras. Operators also make field rounds, during which they maintain that the equipment is in good working order and the process is efficient,” Heikkilä explains. “Other work may also include removing blockages in the production lines, cleaning equipment to remove stuck material, and various service and maintenance tasks,” Paaso adds.

Niemistö’s experience from last summer with operating tasks and drafting instructions have provided a comprehensive introduction to Syklo’s operations and laid a good foundation for working as a labour management trainee.

“This summer, my main duties include standing in for the production manager and the engineer during their summer vacations. I have gotten to work in safety by drafting guidelines, processing safety observations, and carrying out risk assessments. My duties in maintenance have included the organisation of maintenance reviews, maintenance work, and contractors, as well as procurement. I’ve also gotten to take part in the design of development projects,” Niemistö describes.

Propelled by interest and ambition

At times, the challenging and physical work requires determination, but the trio has found working at Syklo to be rewarding.

“I’ve gotten to challenge myself and I’ve also been assigned a suitable amount of responsibility. You can learn as much working here as you are able to internalise. I have learned a lot of new things about both the circular economy and mechanical engineering—it has even inspired me to focus my studies more and more towards these fields,” states Niemistö, who is about to start her master’s degree.

“The plant is modern and constantly being developed. The desire to grow and develop is ever-present here! I think that the best thing about being here is solving problems and being able to share my own ideas for development, and a few of my ideas have even been put into use this summer!” Heikkilä says.

The constantly developing work on the circular economy and the inspiring work community with a good mix of humour and ambition also provide energy to do the work. “It’s always been super nice to come to work! There’s a great group of people here,” Niemistö gushes. “The summer here has been really interesting, and I’ve learned something new every day. The best things have been the fun team and the diverse work tasks,” Paaso adds.

Curiosity and initiative go a long way

After a meaningful and rewarding summer, Paaso and Heikkilä send their regards to future summer employees at Syklo:

 “You get to work with the latest waste sorting equipment here as a part of an energetic and competent team! You will undoubtedly succeed by taking some initiative, being unafraid to try, and by asking for help,” encourages Heikkilä.

“I especially recommend working here to students in the field and to those interested in how the sorting facility works. There’s a thorough orientation to the work duties, so with an enthusiastic attitude, you are sure to learn a lot of new things here—and you’ll definitely be in better shape by the end of the summer,” Paaso laughs.

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