Circular economy

A circular economy promotes sustainable use of resources, which saves the environment and also decreases greenhouse gas emissions. In a circular economy, the whole life cycle is taken into account when evaluating the environmental impact.

HSY operates in the circular economy

We are a significant regional circular economy operator and expert organization. We actively promote the circular economy in the region and develop our own processes. We also participate in national and international development efforts. Our strategic goal is to strengthen the region's circular economy, reduce the amount of mixed waste, and improve the recycling rate of household waste.


A safe and efficient water loop 

We clean the raw water to safe drinking water and take care of the removal and treatment of wastewater so that the water can safely be let to the ocean and returned to the water cycle. Our water management produces most of the energy needed ourselves, and we effectively capture nutrients from the wastewater so that they and be recycled.

Recycling is enabled by sorting

Transitioning to a circular economy requires a broader and more efficient recycling of municipal waste. Municipal waste is defined as waste generated from people's consumption in homes as well as in public and private services. The EU Waste Directive has set a recycling target of 60% for municipal waste by 2030. At HSY, we aim to achieve a 60% recycling rate for household waste in the Helsinki region by 2025.

To increase the recycling rate of households, we promote residents' sorting options by developing our waste management services and guiding residents in sustainable consumption, waste reduction, and sorting.

We process the collected bio-waste into biogas and recycle the nutrients in the waste through composting and soil products. Mixed waste is sent to the Vantaa Energy waste-to-energy plant, where it is used to produce district heating and electricity. Other sorted materials are directed to recycling through various operators.

We are an active regional player

In the region, we engage actively in research, development, and innovation (RDI) activities, contributing to the building of strong circular economy networks and ecosystems. We seek new solutions and collaboration opportunities in partnership with research institutions, cities, organizations, and businesses. Through our Ekomo collaboration, we provide a platform for collaborative circular economy efforts among companies.

Regional indicators of municipal solid waste

In addition to national data on municipal solid waste more local and regional data is necessary to manage and follow up regional actions. 

In Finland, the municipalities set up their collection and goals for recycling municipal solid waste, within the boundaries of national law and EU guidelines. The actions and measures are taken on a local or regional level, and therefore it is important to have data supporting regional decision-making and follow-up. We are working in regional cooperation to provide and communicate information to promote recycling and circular economy as well as contributing to projects regionally, nationally, and internationally.