Syklo’s waste sorting plant for a cleaner tomorrow

Do we have waste or recoverable material on our hands? How can we change the consumption habits of people and corporations to be more environmentally friendly? What is the waste sorting plant of the future like and what are all the things we can recycle? These are some of the things we consider in Syklo’s circular economy team, which is passionate about what most people want to get rid of.

160,000 tonnes of municipal waste, 70,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste, and more than 20,000 tonnes of ash. These are the waste streams that Syklos’s waste sorting plant accepted in 2021. What does it all turn into? Oulun Energia’s Laanila ecopower plant is highly efficient at recovering municipal waste and turning it into district heat, industrial process steam, and electric energy. The amount of energy produced by the ecopower plant heats more than 20,000 detached homes. Meanwhile, the ash, when suitable, is recovered as fertiliser for forestry and in earthworks, which helps to accelerate forest growth and avoid the use of virgin construction materials.

Maintance worker walks in Syklo site.

Solid Recovered Fuel replaces fossil fuels and reduces the use of biofuels worth the heat consumption of approximately 10,000 detached homes

The location for commercial, industrial, and construction waste is our waste sorting plant in Rusko, completed in 2020, which uses a highly automated process to spell a pile of waste that can even seem hopeless into fractions for recovery.

I talked to our circular economy manager Heikki Harju-Autti, who works actively with northern Finnish waste companies, and asked him to describe what we do. Harju-Autti considers the recovery of construction waste to be a major national, and why not even an international, challenge that we are trying to rise to.

“Our Rusko sorting plant produces Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) from the mixed mass of waste produced by companies. SRF replaces fossil fuels and reduces the use of biofuels by an amount that equates to the heat consumption of approximately 10,000 detached homes. In addition, we are able to use our sorting plant to separate recyclable metals, fibres, and plastics from the waste,” Harju-Autti answers.

“With our new sorting plant, we can offer a world-class recovery solution for half of Finland’s corporate waste, a solution that doesn’t overlook even the smallest, least valuable lump of waste.”

Heikki Harju-Autti, Circular Economy Manager
Heikki Harju-Autti, circular economy manager

We are seeking new solutions to improve our environmental handprint every day

When waste changes hands, both the material and the responsibility for it transfer. This is usually what the headlines we see all too often concerning waste concern. At Rusko, Harju-Autti is responsible for developing the sorting plant’s operations and for environmental and quality issues, and he has a loud message:

Responsibility is at the heart of everything we do. Our operations are guided by a deep understanding of our obligations related to waste processing and a desire to act as a pioneer on this front, too.”

For example, we currently monitor the quality of our Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) three times more closely than the relevant standard requires.

“In addition, we are continuously seeking new solutions to increase the efficiency of the sorting operations to ensure that the environmental handprint of our operations is better than the previous day’s every day.”

We are constantly improving our understanding of how people and businesses work and considering how we can act in a way that future generations can be proud of.

We are investing heavily in circular economy solutions of the future in cooperation with our partners

Efficiency, responsibility, and being a pioneer. How can we achieve this? Through partnerships, close cooperation, and a strong belief in a better tomorrow.

We want to grow with various circular economy solutions in northern Finland, the rest of the country, and even internationally.

We are fervently exploring opportunities to cement our partnerships with different organisations on a win-win basis.

We promise to be a reliable partner that offers a competitive waste recovery solution, is not afraid of challenges, and is ready for heavy investments for circular economy solutions of the future.

Our dream is to close material cycles and significantly reduce the carbon footprint resulting from consumption by people and businesses.

These are my strong visions that I want to make a reality as a circular economy director.

Circular economy team professionals: Antti Mattila, Heikki Harju-Autti (front), Jari Niskanen and Teemu Koskela.
Circular economy team experts: Antti Mattila, Heikki Harju-Autti (front), Jari Niskanen, and Teemu Koskela.