About this good practice
Bioneer is a comprehensive biowaste collection experiment service for the detached houses in built-up areas, in Lahti, Finland. Bioneer was organized by Salpakierto Ltd. The experiment began in the fall of 2020.
From 2024, all detached houses in large agglomerations must join separate biowaste collection. Because of this, Salpakierto wanted to test a new, cost-effective, and more environmentally friendly way of separate biowaste collection. Many households living in detached houses also find 140–240l containers too big for their needs, due to the amount of biowaste generated per resident is approx. 4,5l/week. The small amount is the key, why the use of smaller vans can be used for biowaste collection in a more environmentally friendly way.
The cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness of the Bioneer concept is based on the fact that most of biowaste bins are emptied by a small van instead of a big waste truck. And thus, the big truck collects biowaste from biolinks less often. Bioneer has 2 types of customers involved. Most customers have a 35l or 50l biowaste bin placed in the yard and a small proportion of customers have a larger 240l biowaste bin (biolink) in their yard.
Small efficient van empties biowastes from small customer´s bins and place them in the Biolink wastebins. On average, 7 households are collected in 1 biolink wastebin. Big waste truck is responsible only for emptying the biolinks. This way, the emissions, cost, & noise is decreased.
Bioneer was part of BIOSYKLI project, which was funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The companies that participated in the BIOSYKLI also had a self-financing share.
Evidence of success
Bioneer gave good results throughout the experiment. Customer satisfaction was high throughout the year and was measured through various surveys. The success of the experiment was measured also by three compositional studies of mixed and energy waste. Prior to the start of Bioneer, the share of biowaste in mixed waste was found to be 61 %. In the last composition study, the share of biowaste in mixed waste was only 14 %. Composition studies provided real evidence of improved sorting.
Potential for learning or transfer
Biowaste is mainly collected by a big garbage truck. Thanks to Bioneer, important information about the functionality of a new kind of biowaste collection concept was received. The functionality and results of the concept have also been interest to other Finnish waste management companies.
The success of the experiment is indicated by the positive customer feedback and that no major problems were found in the functionality of the concept. During the year, detailed data of biowaste accumulation was collected and measured to be used in waste management development. Biowaste collection also affected positively on the overall recycling interest in the involved households.
Households have a potential to decrease the waste costs by recycling biowaste and extending the emptying interval of mixed waste. According to the survey, 66% of the residents had extended the emptying interval of the mixed waste bin.
CO2 emissions of the concept can be minimized by switching to electric van.