Waste management for businesses
Finland´s waste policy and legislation are based on the EU waste hierarchy, which sees waste prevention as the primary objective. In case of already generated waste the management objectives include recycling, recovery of the material and using waste as a source of energy. Landfilling of wastes is only acceptable where this can be done safely, and the wastes cannot be reasonably managed in any other way.
The environmental permits issued to enterprises by the Regional State Administrative Agencies or the environmental permit authorities may include detailed controls over the amounts of waste that can be generated, and the ways how these wastes should be managed.
Enterprises and their wastes
Enterprises bear the primary responsibility for managing any wastes generated during their activities or otherwise in their possession. Enterprises, and particularly many smaller firms, may use the local municipality´s waste management services by arrangement.
Enterprises are obliged to classify, sort, and store their wastes, including hazardous wastes, to facilitate their collection and appropriate processing. All waste management operators are required to carry environmental permits issued by the Regional State Administrative Agencies or the local authority´s environmental officer.
Municipal waste management services
Municipalities organise the collection, transportation, recovery and treatment of the following waste streams:
- everyday household wastes
- wastes generated in industrial, commercial and service premises that are comparable in their quantity and quality to everyday household wastes (not including hazardous wastes)
- hazardous wastes generated in homes and in farming and forestry, except where the quantities of wastes are excessive
Producer responsibility and waste management
The principle of producer responsibility is applied in Finland to cover waste electrical and electronic equipment, used tyres, end-of-life vehicles, waste paper, packaging and batteries. The national authority responsible for producer registration and other related issues is the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and Environment for Pirkanmaa.
Waste collection, transportation and international shipments
All actors professionally involved in the collection, transportation and management of wastes in Finland should officially register with the environmental administration´s waste register, providing full details of the nature and extent of their activities, and their vehicles and other equipment. This registration can be done through the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and Environment .
All shipments of wastes imported or exported over national borders are covered by the EU Waste Shipment Regulation and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes. The national authority for issues related to international waste shipments is the Finnish Environment Institute.