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Mies ja nainen nostavat jääkaappia. Image Mustankorkea Oy
Mustankorkea Oy keeps developing its sorting area to make handling even smoother than before. Before the year’s end, its collecting activities will expand into plastic packages, with end-of-life textiles following suit as of the start of next year. Jenny Riikonen, a student, has noted that recycling goes smoothly when one sets up functional routines at home.


This year, the sorting area of Mustankorkea Oy has received 31,000 private customers already. The area is intended for small loads of private customers’ waste that fit in the trunk of a car, on a normal trailer, or in a van. All household waste apart from kitchen biowaste can be brought there.

− There are two identical lines of ten waste crates in the area to ease handling and to minimize bottlenecks, the Logistics Manager Antti Anhava tells. 

A collection point for plastic packages will be added to the Mustankorkea sorting area already before the year’s end. Collection of end-of-life textiles will also be launched as soon as the new year rolls in. Clean, dry, and broken clothes packed in plastic bags can be put in end-of-life textiles. Dirty clothes will still belong in mixed waste.

− The textile waste is forwarded to the processing facility for end-of-life textiles in Paimio where the textiles are broken into recycled fibre for use as raw materials of new products in fibreboard industry for instance. Recycled fibre can be made into thread too. 

Next year, Mustankorkea will also launch a development project in which safety on the sorting area will be enhanced and dealing made smoother by increasing signage for instance.


For ingredients, raw materials, or energy

Recycling is eco-friendly since all household waste will be re-used as new ingredients, raw materials, or energy. 

At the Mustankorkea waste centre, mixed waste is pre-crushed before forwarding for energy recovery. 

− The metals will be recovered and used as materials. As for the plastics, we make bails out of them for re-use. As for cardboard, paper, and glass, we deliver them for the industry to use as raw materials. Dangerous substances are also forwarded for further processing, Antti Anhava says. 

The twigs and waste wood from household courtyards are put to good use as support materials for the Mustankorkea compost facility. 

− Concrete and brick waste on the other hand is used as crusher-run aggregate in the waste centre’s own field and road structures.

Coaching for recycling free of charge

Mustankorkea organizes free-of-charge recycling advice sessions in a bid to increase recycling and to reduce waste quantities. During each one-hour session, a Mustankorkea recycling coach tells about recycling in general or focusses on a given part of it. The coaching is aimed at associations, school children, and hobby groups for example.

Jenny Riikonen, a 28-year old student in educational sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, took part this year in a recycling coaching session that the tenants’ committee of the Letkutie student housing site provided for its residents. Even if Riikonen is well versed in the principles of recycling, the coaching offered answers for a few open questions.

Nainen seisoo jätekatoksen ovella. Image Jenny Riikonen

− For example, I had been wondering whether recyclable plastic boxes needed washing or whether removing most of the dirt is enough. I learned that a little rinse is sufficient. This also saves water.

Riikonen feels that sorting and recycling waste goes well in a student flat. 

− Most of the waste is mixed waste, biowaste or plastic, so there are separate collection bins for each of them indoors. We have also made space for other waste in the hallway. Luckily enough, there is more cupboard space in our three-room flat than there is in the studios.

− One must make a little effort to recycle but does it gladly when one knows that it saves natural resources.

Riikonen has noted that recycling goes smoother when one creates functional routines and sticks to them. 

− Waste that has been sorted beforehand is easy to throw in a collection bin when passing by, she says. 

Nainen opastaa koululaisia. Image Mustankorkea Oy

A dumpster made recycling easier

As a member of the tenants’ committee of a student housing site, Riikonen is sad to see that things that do not belong at the collection point are also left there. 

− I have seen car batteries, tyres, and furniture there. So is this negligence or ignorance? While the Central Finland Student Housing Foundation (Keski-Suomen opiskelija-asuntosäätiö, KOAS) does inform about waste management, the resident turnover is quick in the flats and information does not always reach everybody.

Riikonen thinks that it is a good thing that KOAS has every summer a dumpster brought into the courtyard of the student housing site where unnecessary things such as furniture and electronics can be thrown.

− Otherwise, it would be harder to recycle bigger things because we do not own a car.


Text: Pia Tervoja
Images: Jenny Riikonen and Mustankorkea Oy

Services nearby make recycling easier 

Mustankorkea Oy and Suomen Pakkauskierrätys RINKI Oy see to it that there is a collection point for recyclables within reasonable reach for every Jyväskylä resident. 

The Mustankorkea network comprises approximately 50 collection points in the Jyväskylä area. There are a good dozen of Rinki eco take-back points too.

− We do not compete with each other but organize complementary collecting instead. The Rinki eco take-back points are usually placed next to shops. Cardboard, glass, and plastic packages as well as metal can be brought to the recycling points. Plastic packages are not accepted in the Mustankorkea collection points, Antti Anhava says.

Mustankorkea has recycled hazardous waste for years not only at the waste centre but with the rounds of a collector truck as well. The last time that the truck was in circulation was in late August and early September.

Kuorma-auton takaluukku on auki ja mies seisoo kuormauslavalla. Image Mustankorkea Oy

− When the service is brought close to the residents, they do not have to carry waste far. And if there is anything unclear about the waste, we contact the customer immediately, Antti Anhava says.

In 2023, the collector truck will make a smaller round in the spring and a bigger one in the autumn in various residential areas.