Waste management regulations

We will renew our waste management regulations in 2019

We respond with this reform to the national recycling goals set by the EU and Finland. Additionally, we have taken into account the feedback and experiences we have acquired.

According to the proposal, the changes will come into effect on 1 March, 2019, except separately announced transitional periods for new sorting obligations.

The procedure will advance as follows:

  • HSY prepares the reformation of waste management regulations
  • HSY Board decides on earmarking the possibilities to influence
  • The announcement kicks off the circulation of the proposal for comments
  • Residents and other players give their opinion on the proposal.
  • HSY revises the proposal according to the collected feedback.
  • HSY Board accepts the new regulations.
  • The second stage announcement informs about the made decision.
  • The regulations come into effect, except separately announced transitional periods for new sorting obligations.

Let us know what your opinion on the proposed changes is!


The circulation of the proposal for comments begins on 18 September, 2018. Send us your opinion at the latest by 26 October, 2018 to

  • kirjaamo(at)hsy.fi
  • HSY Kirjaamo, P.O Box 100, 00066 HSY

More information

  • HSY's Customer Service tel. 09 1561 2110, asiakaspalvelu(at)hsy.fi (Mon-Fri 8.30-15.30)

The proposal for new waste management regulations (pdf, in Finnish)
Justification memo (pdf, in Finnish)

What will change?


Recycling is made easier for the residents now that the collection containers are located nearby

  • According to the proposal, biowaste, plastic, glass and carton packages and small metal are collected separately from individual housing properties if these include at least five apartments.
  • A new addition to the old regulations is the collection of plastic packages. At the moment, the collection on properties is voluntary.
  • These changes become effective according to a separate time schedule on 1 January, 2021.
  • Additionally, the biowaste container can be emptied at one or two week intervals depending on how much biowaste is produced on the property. The present practice is to empty the biowaste bin weekly.

Emptying the waste containers outside of rush hours will improve road safety

  • Emptying of waste containers could begin at five o'clock in the morning and continue until 22.00, Monday through Friday. At present, the emptying times are from 7.00–21.00. The current emptying schedule will remain unchanged on Saturdays and Sundays.

Cesspits and septic tanks must be emptied at least one a year

  • Wastewater sludge collected in septic tanks of cesspits must be emptied when it is necessary, but at least once a year. The regulation does not concern closed tanks which must be emptied on demand and often enough.

In future, a composter for household purposes does not need to be thermally insulated

  • If the property consists of more than five dwelling units, composting of food waste on property must be reported. At present, a notification is also required from smaller properties.

New names for following waste types: glass packages and carton packages

  • According to the proposal, the new names are glass packages and carton packages. The current names are glass and carton.
  • The colour of the collection container for small metal items will be changed to black, now it is blue. The container colour for glass packages will remain blue.

More information on waste sorting and recycling will be provided for residents of housing properties

  • It is also expected that the representatives of properties inform the inhabitants on waste sorting.

Benefits to the residents and environment


Smoothly running services for residents

  • Most residents are ready to sort their waste more carefully if the waste containers are located on the premises of their own housing company or at least near their homes. This became evident in the survey commissioned by HSY in 2017.
  • Especially on those properties, which include 5–9 dwelling units, the collection containers are better accessible for the residents.
  • The new collection times will facilitate the emptying of bins as the waste collection vehicles can operate during such hours when there is less traffic. This will reduce traffic jams and thus also emissions from traffic. The safety of residents, passers-by and drivers of waste collection vehicles will also be improved.

New measures will help to achieve the recycling goals

  • HSY’s goal is to recycle 60 per cent of domestic waste by 2025. The national waste plan set a recycling goal for municipal solid waste at 55 per cent by 2023. At the moment, waste generated by households achieved the recycling rate of ca. 48 per cent in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
  • Metal items or glass packages, which have been disposed of among mixed waste, cannot be burnt in the waste-to-energy plant. The energy recovery from mixed waste generates less slag if non-combustible materials are removed from mixed waste already at source.

FAQs


What kind of changes should be made to the waste management of a property with over five dwelling units?

  • Biowaste, plastic, glass and carton packages, and small metals are separately collected on a property which includes at least five dwelling units. A new addition to the old regulations is the collection of plastic packages.
  • In future, emptying of waste containers can start already at five o'clock in the morning and it can con-tinue until 22.00 in the evening. At present, the allowed emptying times are from 7–21.
  • Depending on the amount of biowaste collected on the property, it is possible to order the emptying of the biowaste container either at one or two week intervals. According to the current regulations, the biowaste container must be emptied every week.

What kind of changes should be made to the waste management of a one-family house (and other properties with less than 5 apartments)?

  • If the property consists of five or more dwelling units, composting of food waste on the property must be reported. Composting must be reported if a reduced emptying frequency is requested.
  • In future, a composter for household purposes does not need to be thermally insulated.
  • Wastewater sludge collected in septic tanks of cesspits must be emptied at least once a year. This regu-lation does not apply to closed tanks.
  • As for the private roads, the road keeper, i.e. the party which has built or owns the road and now maintains it, has always the responsibility for the road’s durability and performance and of possible damages to the road.
  • In future, emptying of waste containers can start already at five o'clock in the morning and it can continue until 22.00 in the evening. At present, the allowed emptying times are from 7–21.
  • Depending on the amount of biowaste collected on the property, it is possible to order the emptying of the biowaste container either at one or two week intervals. According to the current regulations, the biowaste container must be emptied every week.

What kind of changes should be made to the waste management of a holiday home?

  • The Waste Act obliges a holiday home to join the waste management organised by HSY. The waste collection can be organised either by using one’s own waste container or a jointly owned container (joint use of a waste container). If there is no road to the property, the property can join a regional mixed waste collection point as a customer.

How can all new containers be fitted in the waste collection facility of the housing property?

The new sorting regulations should come into effect after a transitional period on 1 January, 2021.

If the new waste containers cannot be fitted in the present facility, the housing property can expand the facility. The waste containers can also be located in the yard or they can be moved into a fire-proof container shed or near a wall. Please pay attention to the recommendations and regulations of your own municipality’s Building Control Department for a container facility and setting it up.

It is recommended that a housing property checks the number of mixed waste containers and their emptying frequency. The increasing sorting degree reduces the amount of mixed waste, in which case some of mixed waste containers can perhaps be removed and thus save space in the container facility.

The housing properties can also make an agreement on a joint waste collection with their neighbouring property, in which case the collection containers are jointly used. The manufacturer of deep collection containers can also offer other alternatives, such as dividing the container for two or more waste types.

Will the change increase the waste collection invoice for the housing properties?

The new sorting regulations should come into effect after a transitional period on 1 January, 2021. HSY is launching the price structure reform so that it spurs the residents on properties of various sizes to sort their waste. The change will either increase or decrease the total price on properties of different sizes. The final effect will be dependent on the new price list which is under way.

Why will the residents have more obligations? Waste sorting is hard because the instructions are too complicated

We respond with this reform to the national recycling goals set by the EU and Finland. To achieve the goals also requires more efficient sorting of waste on properties, in which case we can reuse a larger part of collected waste as material. Along with the reform, the waste sorting will become easier when more and more properties provide waste containers for different waste types and there will be no need any more to transport waste to regional recycling points or other reception stations.

Our Web pages provide sorting instructions for different waste types: hsy.fi/sorting. On the same page, you’ll find our electronic waste guide. Type the name of the waste into the search field and the waste guide tells you where to dispose of your waste. We hope this makes the waste sorting easier and there is no need to know the sorting instructions by heart.

What does it mean that the representative of a housing property must inform and guide residents in waste sorting issues?

HSY provides instructions, campaigns and materials extensively through different channels and also personal guidance. The property manager, chairman of the housing company or a resident activist can get closer to an individual resident and knows better the actual waste sorting situation and what exactly should be improved. The obligation, which has been proposed to be set for the properties, ensures that the residents will get support and information on sorting their waste. The property representative can fulfil this obligation by providing the residents with the free-of-charge information produced by HSY.

Why the sorting obligation applies only to plastic packages and not to other plastic materials?

The largest part of households' daily plastic waste is packages. We will improve the sorting possibilities of plastic packages in order to achieve both the EU's and the Finnish national recycling goals.

Other plastics can be disposed of among mixed waste. We transport mixed waste to the waste-to-energy plant where it is turned into district heat and electricity.

The collection and recycling of packages is the responsibility of companies which package products in Finland or import them. We will complement the package recycling and deliver the packages to the reception stations organised by the above mentioned parties.

Will the biowaste container cause odours during hot weather if it is emptied only every two weeks?

The emptying frequency can be changed according to the need s of individual properties. If there is a need for emptying the biowaste container more frequently, you can always order an extra emptying. We will charge for an extra emptying according to our price list.

Odours can be controlled and reduced by packing the biowaste in a decomposable package. Pour liquids from food scraps down the drain and let wet waste dry a little bit before putting them into a bio-waste bag.

Our housing company includes five dwelling units. Should we order a collection service for biowaste if we compost our biowaste?

The separate collection of biowaste does not apply to such a property if the produced biowaste is composted on that property. However, composting of biowaste must be reported.

Can we use a joint composter with our neighbour?

A composter can also be jointly used with several other properties or dwelling units located nearby. A written report on composting must be sent to HSY if

  • the properties do not join the biowaste collection when starting composting
  • the property which participates in a joint composter seeks to lengthen the emptying frequency to eight weeks.