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11/22/2017 2:20 PM

Lahti a pioneer in circular economy

The Lahti model of circular economy is of international interest, as the regional development of waste management now produces next generation circular economy solutions and jobs. Lahti is involved in a new network of local authorities pioneering in circular economy.

​In circular economy, Lahti is a pioneer among Finnish cities, developing innovative circular economy solutions and providing an interesting operating environment for Cleantech companies. Excellent waste management is an integral part of circular economy, and in Lahti, more than 96% of household waste is recycled. The industrial symbioses at the Kujala waste management centre are a unique example of circular economy. One of the companies operating in Kujala, Tarpaper Recycling Oy, has developed an asphalt raw material from crushed bituminous roofing felt for road construction. Lahti aims to stop the incineration and landfilling of waste by 2050.

In autumn 2017, the Päijät-Häme region published the first regional level roadmap for circular economy, containing practical measures for attaining the vision for circular economy. The roadmap, which includes examples of good practices in the area's businesses, was compiled as part of the Kiertoliike project led by Lahti University of Applied Sciences.

The pioneering municipalities of the Circwaste project form a network

Cities and municipalities can set an example through their actions and serve as a driving force for material efficiency and recycling in circular economy in their area. Circular economy is one of the most significant phenomena that will influence the economy of the coming decades and the creation of new jobs. Circular economy enables the more efficient recycling of natural resources, materials and products, while retaining their value.

Ten Finnish municipalities, Ii, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Porvoo, Riihimäki, Rovaniemi, Turku and Vantaa are committed to ambitiously driving circular economy forward. The network of pioneering municipalities was formed as part of the 'Circwaste – towards circular economy in Finland' project.  The total budget for this seven-year EU LIFE programme project amounts to almost EUR 19 million. Circwaste aims at promoting circular economy through practical measures in construction, agriculture, industry, the food chain and households.

Circular economy one of Lahti's strengths in the European Green Capital 2020 competition

Lahti is competing with 13 high-quality environmental cities for the title of European Green Capital 2020. The European Commission's competition for European cities with over 100,000 inhabitants compares the sustainable development activities and future goals of cities in 12 different areas. The winner will be announced in May–June 2018. The strengths of Lahti in the competition include circular economy, environmental innovations and cooperation with businesses, universities and residents.

For additional information, please contact:

Timo Permanto, Environmental Co-ordinator, tel. +358 50 559 4054

Circwaste project 
Päijät-Häme Circular Economy Road Map
Industrial symbiosis in Kujala Waste Centre