A €120 mil. project has been started in Finland to build a plant that converts waste into energy. The aim is to turn the waste from the Ämmässuo landfill site into a source of energy, with fuel saving equivalent to 300,000 tonnes of coal per year. Ämmässuo, in Espoo, is the biggest landfill site for municipal solid waste (MSW) in the Nordics. The MSW of one million Helsinki residents has been dumped there for 25 years at an annual rate of almost 30,000 tonnes of plastics. The site is just 2kms from the nearest lake and 6kms from the coast. Wind and birds easily transport light materials, like plastics, to aquatic environments.
The new plant will treat waste indoors, avoiding the potential effects of outdoor elements and practically eliminating undesired littering from landfill. The Finnish plastics industry has made significant contributions to the project in terms of expertise with regards to developing a scheme, adapted to local conditions, that combines recycling and energy recovery which will help maximise the use of plastic waste.