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Published: 15 May 2014

Sixty-six per cent of combustible waste is burned

A total of around 16.4 million tonnes of combustible waste were generated in Finland in 2012. Of these, 10.7 million tonnes or 66 per cent were burned in incineration or co-incineration plants. The largest item of incinerated waste was by far wood waste from forestry and the forest industry. The second largest item was municipal waste and other mixed waste, altogether 1.4 million tonnes. These were collected from both households and other sectors. The increase in the incineration capacity of municipal waste will render conventional landfills redundant in coming years. Approximately ten per cent of total energy consumption was produced with waste incineration. The amounts do not include wood felling waste left in the forest or straw and manure processed on site in agriculture.

Amounts of waste by sector in 2012, million tonnes

Amounts of waste by sector in 2012, million tonnes

Total amount of waste 90 million tonnes

In 2012, the total amount of waste was just under 90 million tonnes and decreased by around 5.5 million tonnes from the year before. The reduction came primarily from mining waste and surplus soils from construction. Mineral waste is the largest item in waste, it amounted to 72 million tonnes, mainly from ore and mineral mines, earthworks and energy production (ashes). One-third of mineral waste is recovered.

A total of 1.1 million tonnes of hazardous waste were generated in 2012. It was generated in particular in the metal industry, households and services, and also in construction as contaminated soil. In total, 180,000 tonnes of hazardous waste were incinerated but the amount that was deposited in landfills was much larger. Hazardous waste was formerly called problem waste in Finland.

Source: Waste statistics 2012, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Juha Espo 09 1734 3463, Jukka Muukkonen 09 1734 3224,

Director in charge: Leena Storgårds

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Updated 15.5.2014

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Waste statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-5314. 2012. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.10.2023].
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