Waste Sorting in Helsinki

Below you will find all different types of waste listed as we sort at Hanken.

If there are any questions regarding waste disposal or environmental work at Hanken, send a email to hankengreen@hanken.fi.


  • leftover food, spoilt foodstuffs
  • peels, parings and bones
  • solid fat
  • coffee grounds, tea leaves, tea bags and paper filters
  • kitchen paper, napkins and tissues
  • plant parts and wilted flowers
  • wood-based pet litter (sawdust, pellets, etc.)

Pack biowaste in compostable material. Let leftover food dry and pour liquids into a drain so that the waste is not too moist.

Pack cooking oil in a closed plastic container at home and dispose with mixed waste. Small amounts of cooking oil can be absorbed into kitchen paper and put in biowaste. In professional kitchens, cooking oil can be collected separately.

  • cooking oils and other liquid fats > enclose in tight plastic container and put in mixed waste
  • liquids, soups, sauces> pour down the sewer
  • diapers, sanitary towels and other hygiene products (including bio-degradable ones) > put in mixed waste
  • plastic bags > put in mixed or energy waste
  • milk or juice cartons > put in cardboard waste
  • medicine > take to a pharmacy
  • cat litter (sand, clay, bentonite, etc.) > put in mixed waste
  • cat or dog droppings > put in mixed waste
  • chewing gum, ash, cigarette stubs> put in mixed waste.

Paperboard and cardboard

Paperboard and cardboard collection includes the types of paper, carton and cardboard packages that are collected from households, institutions and offices.
Reucyclable cardboard MAY CONTAIN

  • cardboard packaging for liquids, such as milk and juice cartons, including those with aluminium lining
  • paperboard, cardboard and paper packaging of dry products, such as cereal and biscuit boxes, sugar and flour bags, pastry boxes, egg cartons, multi-pack cartons for beverages, such as 'six-packs'
  • pizza boxes, including slightly greasy ones
  • empty paper rolls, such as toilet rolls
  • plastic-coated wrapping papers, such as copy-paper wrapping
  • all paper bags
  • corrugated cardboard boxes.

Rinse all dirty containers of liquids and let them drip dry.
Flatten the containers and fold them into each other.
It is not necessary to remove rivets, paper clips or packaging tape.
Recyclable cardboard MAY NOT CONTAIN

  • dirty and unrinsed packaging
  • plastic bags and boxes
  • expanded polystyrene
  • coated gift wrappings with a great deal of printed ink and tape.


All paper which arrives at your home or workplace with the mail and any paper that is used for writing and printing are recyclable.
Waste paper collection MAY CONTAIN

  • newspapers and magazines
  • advertisements, brochures and other similar printed materials
  • phonebooks and product catalogues
  • paperback books
  • copy paper and printouts, both coloured and uncoloured
  • white drawing paper and notepads
  • white paper bags
  • envelopes, including those with plastic windows.

It is not necessary to remove rivets or paper clips.
All material must be clean and dry.
Waste paper collection MAY NOT CONTAIN

  • wet or dry paper
  • paperboard or cardboard
  • brown paper or paper bags
  • plastic
  • aluminium paper or wax paper
  • strongly coloured paper like wrapping paper.


There are separate containers for coloured and clear glass at HSY collection points.
Recyclable glass MAY CONTAIN

  • glass bottles and jars

Rinse dirty glass containers with cold water.
Sort clear and coloured glass into their respective containers.

Remove tops and lids. It is not necessary to remove bottle collars or labels.
Recyclable glass MAY NOT CONTAIN

  • porcelain and ceramics
  • window glass
  • mirror glass
  • windscreens or car windows
  • heat-resistant glass (cookware, coffee pots and drinking glasses)
  • opalescent glass (for instance in some cosmetic packages)
  • crystal
  • light bulbs.


Household metal waste mainly consists of separately collected metal packaging. Scrap metal includes large metal objects.
Household metal waste MAY CONTAIN

  • tins and beverage cans
  • aluminium dishes and foil
  • metal lids and caps, the metal cups of tea-light candles
  • empty and dry paint cans
  • empty aerosol bottles (ones that do not emit fizzing, sloshing sounds)
  • small metal items like hinges, screws and cutlery.

Rinse out any packages that used to contain food products to remove all residue.

Energy Waste

Energy waste is separately collected waste, which cannot be recycled as material but which can be recovered for reuse in energy production. Plastic waste generated in households is an example of this type of waste.
Energy waste MAY CONTAIN

  • plastic products marked with the code 01, 02, 04, 05 or 06 indicating the type of plastic
  • plastic packaging of foodstuffs and other products, including those marked with the 07 code
  • plastic sacks, bags and wrappings
  • disposable plastic and cardboard plates and cups
  • expanded polystyrene
  • foam plastic
  • photographs and negatives
  • CD and DVD discs and cases
  • clothes and textiles, but not leather, leatherette, shoes or raingear
  • paper, cardboard and wood, which does not need to be collected separately.

Remove leftover food from packaging and rinse it with cold water if needed.
Energy waste MAY NOT CONTAIN

  • PVC (marked with code 03)
  • products containing aluminium, such as coffee bags, foil-lined juice cartons, foil-lined potato chip bags and containers
  • VHS and C cassettes and ink cartridges
  • files, plastic folders, overhead transparencies, plastic film, brown packaging tape
  • various types of plastics used in construction, such as wallpaper, floor coverings, mouldings, tubing, hoses
  • nappies and other similar hygiene products.

Electrical equipment 

Electrical waste (waste electrical and electronic equipment or WEEE) includes cast-off equipment that requires an electric current or electromagnetic field to function.
Electrical waste MAY CONTAIN

  • large and small home appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, electric stoves, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, irons and toasters
  • IT and telecommunication equipment such as computers, laptops, printers, calculators and telephones
  • consumer electronics such as radios, video cameras, VCRs and sound reproduction equipment
  • light fittings and fluorescent tubes*
  • electric and electronic tools such as drills, saws, sewing machines and welding machines
  • toys, recreational gear such as model electric trains, car slots and video games as well as sports equipment that contains electric and electronic components
  • control and monitoring devices, such as smoke detectors, heating regulators and thermostats.

*PLEASE NOTE! Fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs count as electrical equipment, but they can also be delivered to collection points for dangerous waste.

Electrical equipment must not be put in mixed waste or discarded in the property's waste-container storage area.
Electrical waste MAY NOT CONTAIN

  • electric wires > scrap metal
  • cables > metal cables are scrap metal, other cables belong with mixed waste
  • combustion engines (car engines, etc.) > scrap metal
  • incandescent light bulbs, halogen bulbs > mixed waste.

Mixed waste 

Mixed waste is waste material that cannot be reused or collected for reclamation purposes.
Mixed waste includes, among others:

  • disposable diapers and sanitary pads
  • china
  • leather and rubber
  • vacuum cleaner bags
  • light bulbs, halogen light bulbs and fuses
  • PVC plastic products
  • ashes and cigarette ends
  • aluminium-coated plastic, such as coffee packs and potato chip bags

Hazardous waste 

Hazardous waste is a substance or object that poses substantial threat or harm to health or environment.
Hazardous waste includes:

  • energy-saving bulbs and other fluorescent tubes
  • mercury thermometers and unused medicine
  • used car batteries, waste oil, oil filters and other oily waste
  • solvents like turpentine, paint thinner, acetone and cleaning solvents
  • unhardened paint, glue, varnish, wood-protective liquid and wood preservative
  • aerosol cans (emitting fizzing, sloshing sounds, chemical hazard label)
  • impregnated wood
  • base washing and cleaning agents
  • pesticides and disinfectants
  • strong acids, such as sulphuric acid
  • halon fire extinguishers, gas bottles and other pressurised containers
  • New Year's tin (due to lead content).