Bioneeri service puts biowaste collection within reach of householders - Lahti
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Bioneeri service puts biowaste collection within reach of householders

The new biowaste collection service has allowed a family in Villähde, Lahti to reduce their mixed waste to a fraction of what it was before. The service is helping the family to realise their dream of a sustainable lifestyle.

Recycling is a natural part of the daily routine in the household of Emmi and Erik Löfberg. Recyclable waste from consumerism and life, in general, is sorted and taken to a recycling collection point near their home. This includes paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and metal.

Until the autumn of 2020, however, one important piece was missing from the family’s recycling puzzle: their food waste went into the normal bin, which was regularly emptied by a large bin lorry.

‘I felt awful putting food in the general waste bin’, Emmi Löfberg reminisces.

The answer came from the regional waste management company Salpakierto Ltd, which was looking for householders in the Lahti area to participate in its new biowaste collection experiment, Bioneeri. The Löfbergs jumped at the chance.

Biowaste mixed in with general waste makes it considerably more challenging to pick out recyclable and reusable materials. This is significant for Salpakierto Ltd, whose Kujala Waste Centre relies on mechanical sorting.

User-friendly service that makes a huge difference

Bioneer supplied the Löfbergs with a compact biowaste bin, which is kept outside, as well as plastic bin liners and paper bags in which food waste is collected in the kitchen. Instead of the large bin lorry that Salpakierto Ltd uses for regular waste collections, biowaste bins are emptied by a fleet of smaller vans every two weeks. The vans take the biowaste first to a local Biolink collection point, from where it is transported for processing.

‘The user-friendliness of the Bioneeri concept is what really appealed to us’, Erik Löfberg says.

He cannot praise the service enough and says it has made a huge difference.

‘The volume of waste in our general waste bin has reduced considerably, and we can now go 20 weeks instead of the previous eight between bin collections.’

‘The Bioneeri service is inexpensive in itself, and the money we save by having our mixed waste bin emptied less often puts us comfortably in the black. The service is well run, and Salpakierto Ltd regularly publishes information about its performance and recycling in general.’

‘All in all, Lahti has done a lot to promote recycling and productive waste management. The city’s winning the European Green Capital Award has really inspired local businesses. I see Lahti as a pioneer in this respect’, Emmi Löfberg says.

Recycling helps to understand the importance of the natural environment

‘We love being able to recycle things that can reuse. It feels great to do good for the environment in that way’, the Löfbergs say.

The couple has also taught their six- and 10-year-old children to sort their waste and understand the general benefits of recycling and sustainable choices.

‘We are always talking to our children about a sustainable lifestyle — the importance of recycling, not wasting water or electricity, the benefits of walking and cycling, eating vegetarian food, only buying new things if absolutely necessary and never littering. We have tried to make them realise that these choices genuinely affect their future.’

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