People in general strongly feel the importance of conservation of nature to stop environmental pollution as well as to sustain the attractiveness and healthy atmosphere of Rovaniemi.
City-dwellers are well aware of the importance of the clean environment in Rovaniemi and suggested measures in this regard. “I would suggest some kind of penalty for throwing rubbish onto the ground. The sides of the streets and some spots are full of garbage. Maybe, we could also educate ourselves and make campaigns together to clean the streets and nature like Ounasvaara area,” said Mari Mäkiranta, a senior lecturer at the University of Lapland.
Anniina Koivurova, another lecturer at the university, said she also recycles as much as possible and picks up from the ground the garbage that someone has tossed away and puts into a rubbish bin every now and then.
“Keeping our environment clean is vital not only for our families, but also for the economy, for the community, and for the next generations. There is nothing more important than our good health. So, we must now all work together hand in hand to keep our environment clean and pleasant. We begin with our own homes and then move to our neighbourhood,” said Paksuniemi Marko, a visual designer.
He pointed out many ways to achieve the goal such as recycling, minimizing the use of cars to cut down on air pollution, become a volunteer to help clear the litter in local areas, etc.
“Nowadays it is more common that when we take our garbage to garbage cans, we separate different kinds of waste. Everyone knows that. For example, you can take old electric wastes to landfill for free, where you can leave it. We don’t easily burn anything. We know it could be harmful for anyone and you very seldom see any more that people throw waste into the nature. We also care about the environment where we live and also want that next generations are able to enjoy the beautiful Lappish nature. We also make sure that our cars are in a good condition,” he added.
Recycling is made easy in Rovaniemi
Napapiirin Residuum is a part of Rovaniemi City Group which manage the municipal wastes of Rovaniemi, Ranua and Pello. The Residuum has 85 eco-points in the three municipalities. At the eco-points, people can recycle paper, cardboard, glass packaging and small metal items. The points at K-City market, Prisma and Kierrätyspuisto Residuum (waste station) also welcome people to recycle plastic packaging for free.
It is compulsory to recycle bio-waste if a house has more than five apartments
“In Rovaniemi, the local waste transport companies offer the possibility to have own containers for recycling of plastic packaging in housing company’s waste shed,” Napapiirin Residuum Oy Communication Officer Maria Aro told.
The housing companies have options to choose what kind of waste bins they would have in the houses (containers for small metal, paper, cardboard, glass and plastic packaging), Aro said, adding that although the option is now voluntary for housing companies, it may well be made mandatory.
She said, “In our region’s waste management regulations, it is now compulsory to recycle bio-waste, if a house has more than five apartments.”
“The central areas of the towns of Rovaniemi, Ranua and Pello are covered by separate collections of bio-waste. If at least five apartments generate at least 20 kilograms of waste a week in a property located in the areas, the bio-waste must be sorted separately and reused. Bio-waste should be delivered either for centralised bio-waste treatment or composted independently.”
Waste-sorting obligation applies to everyone
“The waste-holder should take care of sorting the waste. The waste-sorting obligation is common and applies to everyone. Non-combustible municipal waste (landfill waste), combustible municipal waste, waste, electrical equipment, vehicle tyres, hazardous waste and special treatment waste must be kept separate at all stages of waste management. Wastes that are not utilised on their own property should be delivered to an appropriate collection point,” according to the bio-waste regulation of Napapiirin Residuum.
In Rovaniemi, the recycling company has Kierrätyspuisto Residuum (waste station) where it has set up Ekokieppi as a place for households to bring recyclable materials and hazardous waste.
Rovaniemi is selected as a pioneer of circular economy
According to Rovaniemi’s city council strategy, Rovaniemi is a pioneer in the Arctic circulation economy. Rovaniemi is committed to the goals of the national waste management plan and is selected as a pioneer of circular economy.
“In Rovaniemi, waste transport system is organised well. So, we don’t have a problem with the possible increase. Rovaniemi is a bigger town (than Kittilä Sirkka, Levi, for example) and our system is already built in a way that works,” Maria Aro added.
She also said that they have plans to keep up the good systems already built and to make necessary changes as per the legislation stipulated for recycling plastic packaging and other wastes.
City of Rovaniemi-Daily Finland Report