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Private waste companies

Finland has an efficient MSW management system that is secure and reliable due to inclusive and transparent legislation, close cooperation between municipalities and private companies and effective supervision mechanisms. Municipal waste management companies and their partners have procured waste treatment capacity through competitive tendering or established waste-to-energy plants and biowaste treatment plants for the treatment of waste that is the responsibility of the municipality. Most of them operate as separate companies. The plants receiving municipal biowaste are mainly owned by municipalities or have contract with municipalities. Private companies mainly own plants for the treatment of biodegradable waste from industrial plants and agriculture.

The municipality’s responsibility for organising waste management forms the basis for municipal waste management, which ensures proper waste management in all circumstances in all parts of the country. Municipalities are responsible for approximately 49% of the total amount of municipal waste. The producer or other holder of the waste is responsible for approximately 26% of the waste management of municipal waste. In addition, the holder of the waste is fully responsible for the waste management of all non-municipal waste (ca. 97% of the total amount of waste generated in Finland). Waste under producer responsibility accounts for about 25% of the total municipal waste stream. The producer responsibility system collects and processes e.g. waste paper, discarded packaging, electrical and electronic equipment and batteries and accumulators. The operation and its costs are borne by the manufacturers and importers of the products in question.

Usually, municipal waste management companies purchase the required services from private companies through public procurement. Such services are transportation services, and a large part of the waste treatment services. Also in the case of outsourcing of tasks, organizational responsibility always belongs to municipality. In this way it is possible to avoid situations where a private operator goes bankrupt and is not able to provide needed services.


Waste collection

The most common way to organize separate collection of waste is property-specific waste collection organized jointly by municipal waste management organizations, or private waste company and properties. Municipal waste management organisations can organise the process by their own tools and transport or via open public procurement to buy the service from private enterprises or, in some areas, property holders may organize the collection themselves by having contract with waste carrier.

In some regions, the waste collection and transport are arranged by the property holder. The property holder makes the agreement on the emptying of waste containers and the transport of waste with the waste management company they find appropriate, usually after competitive tendering. In detached houses, the person making the contract is usually the owner of the property, in terraced houses and apartment buildings, the contract is usually made by the property manager. The private waste management company takes care of emptying the waste containers in accordance with the contract. Contracts and emptying prices vary depending on what waste fractions are sorted and collected, what size waste containers are needed, how often the containers are emptied and so on.

In some cases, properties located in the same area can acquire waste management services for their area from one company. Waste truck traffic in the area decreases when a district or neighbourhood tenders and procures its waste transport together. Terraced houses and apartment blocks can also tender for waste transports together. Each property retains its own waste container, and invoicing is also handled separately for each property.

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