Total volume of waste decreased
In 2019, HUS collected 8,270 tons of waste through its own waste management function, 230 tons less than in the previous year. Given the growth of our operations and the numerous repairs made to our properties, this decrease in the total volume of waste was a particularly positive outcome.
Community waste (mixed waste and separately collected recyclable waste) accounted for 80% of the total, the remaining 20% comprising health care waste, hazardous waste and waste from construction and property management.
The decrease from 2018 breaks down into more than 90 tons in mixed waste, 66 tons in recycled paper, 35 tons in confidential paper and stickers, and nearly 60 tons in metal. On the other hand, there was an increase of 120 tons in biowaste, 90 tons in cardboard and paperboard and 27 tons in plastic.
The percentage of community waste sorted and recovered was 45.8%.
Thanks to the HUS monitoring and billing system for special waste, HUSKEY, the volume and cost of health care waste and confidential paper waste and the volume of mixed waste can be analyzed by type of waste and by source. The data gained help us allocate advisory services and guidance for waste management as necessary.
Looking at waste volumes at HUS over the past four years, we can see significant changes in particular types of waste. For instance, volumes have decreased by 49% in paper waste, by 29% in waste electrical and electronic equipment and by 26% in hospital waste glass. The largest growth was recorded in solvent waters (+660%), chemical waste (+220%), metal (+59%), confidential, liquid and ethical biological waste (+46%), cytostatic waste (+27%), pharmaceutical waste (+19%) and cardboard and paperboard (+18%).
Recovery and recycling of waste and reducing the volume of waste remain permanent goals. Sorted waste is recovered for either reuse or energy use. Safeguarding the environment requires consideration in consumption and efficient use of resources. Registered Nurse Minna Kotiharju, environmental manager of intensive care Ward 20 at Meilahti Hospital, inspecting the waste room on the ward.