A combination of waste sorting and recycling facilities which aims to increase the recycling and recovery rate of waste operates in Riihimäki, Finland. This unity is called the Circular Economy Village. It consists of a sorting facility of mixed waste (Eco Refinery), a sorting and recycling facility of plastic waste (Plastic Refinery) and an anaerobic digestion facility of bio waste (Bio Refinery, owned and operated by a partner company).
The total capacity of these facilities is about 175,000 tons of waste annually. The outcomes of these facilities are waste-based fuel (RDF), plastic granulates, mixed plastics for further recycling, metals and residual waste for the waste-to-energy plant. Biogas for vehicle use and fertiliser products are outcomes from the partner company’s AD plant. Circular Economy Village was started in the summer of 2016.
- Increasing recycling rate after source separation.
- Combining the recycling of wastes, producing waste-based fuel and recovering energy from residual wastes in an optimised way using facilities situated in the same area.
- Recycling of post-consumer plastic packaging to plastic raw material (granules).
- The Plastic Refinery processes not only plastics separated from municipal waste but also separately collected household plastic packaging. The plastics will be redirected back to the plastics industry as raw material to replace virgin raw materials. Recycling plastic takes only about 15% of the energy that is required to make plastic.
- Lack of market signals to prevent landfilling of organic wastes.
- Lack of enforcement in Member States on existing regulation regarding extended producer responsibility for plastic packaging.
- Absence of EU criteria for end-of-waste for plastics.
- Technology development has enabled economical and quality sorting of plastics.
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