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Carbon footprint of southwestern Finland waste management

Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto Oy (LSJH) (southwestern Finland waste management) is a company owned by 18 municipalities. It takes care of organizing the residents’ waste management and waste disposal on behalf of these municipalities. Approximately 440 000 inhabitants live in the company’s operating area. The biggest owners of LSJH are the city of Turku and the city of Salo. 

Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto Oy (LSJH) wanted to determine the carbon footprint of its operations to set, achieve, and monitor strategic climate goals. By discovering the carbon footprint, LSJH could identify the most significant emission factors and develop continuous, annual carbon footprint monitoring. 

Calculations were carried out for the year 2019 and they discovered the greenhouse gas emissions of the waste collection and processing generated in housing and municipal service production in LSJH’s operating area. The emissions of LSJH’s own operations and the most significant value chains’ were included in the calculation. In addition to the waste collected or received by LSJH, the collecting system organized  by the property owner was assessed and also the climate effects of the waste collection and processing directed to the RINKI ecopoint collection were assessed. Thus, the big picture of the collection and processing of waste generated in housing and municipal service production could be formed, as well as the contribution of LSJH’s operations to it. 

For the LSJH’s own operations, the emissions of the vehicles and machines owned by the company, landfills and production of purchased electricity and heat were considered in the calculation. For the value chain of LSJH, the emissions of waste collection organized by LSJH but carried out by contractors, leased property, other contractor services and the production of fuel were taken into account in the calculation. For the activities of other operators, the emissions of waste collection organized by the owner of the property and RINKI, transfer and processing of the separately collected waste and transfer and processing the waste collected in waste centres and sorting stations were included in the calculation. In total, the assessment included the modelling of the recycling chain of over 30 different waste types and the achievable emission benefits. 

Also the emission credits achieved by utilizing the waste were taken into account in the calculation. Emission credits form from the processing of biowaste, mixed waste, packaging waste and the waste collected at the sorting stations, as well as from the utilization of energy produced with landfill gas. 

LSJH plans to use the annual monitoring of the carbon footprint, for example, monitoring operations, mapping and targeting the development needs, as well as in internal and external communication.  

We have also calculated the carbon footprint of LSJH operations for the year 2021. The calculation was carried out with the same boundaries, which enables the annual comparison of the results. 

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