CircHubs – 6Aika: Circular Economy Hubs of the Future
“Circular Economy Hubs of the Future” (CircHubs) is a project that is developing the circular economy hubs of the six biggest cities in Finland, referred to as “6Aika” in this project. The objective is to find some new business models and operations for these urban areas, as well as new partnerships and new forms of cooperation. A further objective is to support the commercialisation of innovations relating to circular economy.
The common “6Aika” strategy of six cities aims to develop increasingly open and smart services. The objective is to create new competence, new business operations and new jobs in Finland.
Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto (LSJH) is participating in the project by developing the Topinpuisto circular economy network.
Learn more about “Circular Economy Hubs of the Future”: http://circhubs.fi/
The Telaketju Network
Previously, end-of-life textiles could barely be recycled because there was little information and few collections, sorted materials, product ideas, production plants, technologies or markets. In order to be able to develop textile material recycling, the chain needs to include all of its parts. No operator can overcome the challenges of this alone and so Telaketju was put together to help out.
Telaketju originated as a group of follow-up projects for the “Textile 2.0” project of the LSJH and the Turku University of Applied Sciences. With the help of the initial project, Telaketju grew into a nationwide cooperation network during 2016. Now the work continues with the support of numerous partners and several subprojects. The subprojects were distinguished from one another by naming them according to their main funders.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy (TEM) has granted the LSJH support targeting circular economy investment and development projects. The purpose is for the company to launch an end-of-life textile processing plant project with the intention of implementing the plant in phases. The project is seeking premises in Turku for the implementation of the first phase. The support granted to the project makes it possible to acquire the equipment base for treating end-of-life textiles and processing them later on for the needs of companies both in Finland and on the international markets. The total budget of the project is 300,000 euros for investments and another 300,000 euros for development work. Since the processing plant is intended for the future treatment of end-of-life textiles coming from all over Finland, the project is being funded not only by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, but by the waste management companies of almost all the municipalities in Finland as well. At the same time, the waste management companies are engaging in development work in preparation for an EU Waste Management Directive amendment, according to which the separate collection of textile waste must be arranged by 2025.
The project started in August 2018 and will last two years. It will make it possible to launch the end-of-life textile processing plant pilot and plan later phases. The project steering groups is comprised of the Finnish Solid Waste Association (FSWA) and member companies, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (VTT), the Turku University of Applied Sciences Ltd, the Lahti University of Applied Sciences Ltd and Suomen Tekstiili & Muoti ry (a registered textiles and fashion association).
The AIKO funding for launching new regional innovations and experiments, granted by the Regional Council of Southwest Finland to the LSJH, supports the implementation of the first phase of the Finnish processing plant for end-of-life textiles in Southwest Finland and the planning of later phases. This subproject is preparing a market survey for end-of-life textiles products, as well as the business plan of the plant. Its funding provides support for the development of high-quality sorting so that the materials to be processed will meet the needs of companies utilising end-of-life textiles as well as possible.
The total budget of the project is 73,000 euros. Lasting for one year, the project was launched in May 2018. The project steering group is comprised of the FSWA and member companies, the VTT, the Turku University of Applied Sciences, the Lahti University of Applied Sciences and Suomen Tekstiili & Muoti ry.
The LSJH provides Telaketju with overall coordination, seeking solutions to the challenges associated with collecting and sorting end-of-life textiles This pilot project comprises three trials, which produce information to consumers, clarify terms and legislation, test the possibilities of source separation, try different ways and means of collection, map the suitable quantity and quality of end-of-life textiles for the material cycle, and pilot the training of textile sorters at Telakoulu (a school being piloted as well).
The pilot project is funded by the Ministry of the Environment (YM), the FSWA, Lännen Tekstiilihuolto Oy (a workwear and textile rental and maintenance business), the city of Turku, Fortum Waste Solutions Oy and Suomen Tekstiili & Muoti ry, as well as the parties participating in the pilots through self-financing.
The pilot project will run until the end of 2018, providing results that will all be publicly available.
TEKES, a Telaketju subproject funded by Business Finland, comprises research and development projects for various companies and a public project planned to support these projects. The public project involves the VTT, the Turku University of Applied Sciences and the Lahti University of Applied Sciences as research partners, as well as the companies (including the LSJH) participating in the project. The research will determine, for instance, the potential and risks of textile recycling, the environmental load of the various material fractions, and the suitability of different technologies to end-of-life materials. The research will also model the business potential of textile recycling as a whole in Finland. The focus is on the development of processes and the discovery of new parties to utilise various material fractions, and new ways of doing so.
The TEKES project will last until the end of September 2018.
Learn more about the Telaketju Network at: https://telaketju.turkuamk.fi/
Early Childhood Education: Circular Economy Project “Multaa ja mukuloita”
“Multaa ja mukuloita”, a project being piloted in day care centres, is making food and nutrient cycles familiar through small-scale gardening. The programme also includes redworms for composting, fungi cultivation and fertiliser experiments, as well as food plate models not only from around the world, but the future as well.
The project objective is to raise food appreciation, reduce food losses, and make recycling familiar to children and families coming from various cultural backgrounds. Having begun in September 2017, the project will end in June 2019.
This project of Sateenkaari Koto ry, a registered association providing day care services, is funded by the Finnish National Board of Education while Valonia, a service centre for sustainable development and energy, is acting as the coordinator. The LSJH is serving as a cooperation partner together with Arkea Oy, a conglomerate providing a variety of services to schools and businesses, and Natur och Miljö rf, a registered environmental and nature protection association. The project is being implemented as a pilot in the seven day care centres run by Sateenkaari Koto ry, after which the best action models observed will be disseminated for extensive use.