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Published: 28 May 2015

Circular economy stumbling on rocks

Recycling of stone that remains as waste is lagging behind when comparing to the reuse of other waste material, stone is primarily stockpiled. In past years, the processing of biodegradable waste material has moved to utilisation and, on the other hand, for example metal waste, electrical and electronic waste, scrap vehicles and glass waste are recycled almost in full in material use. In addition, the amount of mineral waste from mining and quarrying increased to 68 million tonnes in 2013, nearly 70 per cent of the total amount of waste. A majority of mineral waste are unrefined natural resources from ore and mineral mines, and earthworks, and a minority is ashes, bricks, concrete, etc.

Amounts of waste by sector in 2013, 1000 tonnes

Amounts of waste by sector in 2013, 1000 tonnes

In 2013, the total amount of waste was just over 98 million tonnes and increased from the year before. This was the case despite the fact that the statistical convention for wood waste has changed. Felling waste and wood waste from the forest industry are no longer classified as waste because they have become part of the production plan and their utilisation rate is very high. Waste reported as wood waste to authorities are, however, still left as wood waste.

Overall, the rate of recovery of waste was close on 16 per cent depressed by stone. However, good seven million tonnes of earthworks material like crushed rocks from quarries were reused. Altogether 1.9 million tonnes of waste classified as hazardous was generated in 2013.

Measured by the total amount of waste, Finland is placed in the middle among EU countries, but among the top three when calculated per person, only surpassed by Bulgaria and Luxembourg. The placement is raised in particular by waste from mining and quarrying, the amount of which in Finland is among the top five countries in the EU.

Source: Waste statistics 2013

Inquiries: Juha Espo 029 551 3463, Simo Vahvelainen 029 551 3457,

Deputy director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko

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Updated 28.05.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Waste statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=2323-5314. 2013. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 4.6.2023].
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