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Recycling and recovery

In 2020, about 1.5 million tons of MSW components were collected separately to be utilized mainly as material. Paper, cardboard and biowaste have long been the biggest separately collected material items. Still, after separate collection, mixed waste comprised about 1.66 million tons and miscellaneous waste 0.11 million tons of the total amount.

Paper, paperboard and biowaste are the largest separately collected material fractions. In 2020, the share of material recovery of MSW was 42%. Material recovery includes also the recycling of biowaste by composting and anaerobic digestion, which comprises 13.5 percentage units (Figure 4). Anaerobic digestion is considered as material recovery as it generates biogas, which can be utilized as fuel. Also, the recycling rates are high for some separately collected fractions: in 2019 for paperboard packages 116%, glass packages 98% and metal packages 85%. Since 2012 energy recovery (incineration) of waste has been the most significant treatment mode of MSW and in 2020 its share was 58 %. Energy recovery of MSW is mainly based on the combined production of electricity and heat (CHP) that is often utilized in district heating networks.

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