Sorting waste and recycling

Sorting and recycling your rubbish saves the environment and is also common sense, because collecting, transporting and processing waste is expensive. The purpose of the Waste Act is to reduce the amount of waste and to ensure that materials which can be used again are reused.

The most important link in the waste chain is the consumer, who also pays the cost of waste management as part of his or her living expenses. For this reason, recycling goods which can be reused and sorting waste according to its purpose benefits everyone.

In your own household, make sure that rubbish bags are put in the correct waste bins and are not merely thrown in through the doorway of the waste area. Rubbish collectors will charge separately for every rubbish bag on the ground.

Recyled paper bin

Put into this bin everything that comes through your letterbox, i.e.:

  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • advertising
  • envelopes
  • white paper bags

Organic waste bin

Put into this bin everything from the kitchen or garden, i.e.:

  • Leftover food and foodstuff gone bad
  • Vegetable and fruit peels
  • Eggshells
  • Fishbone and other waste from fish
  • Tea bags and coffee filters
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Garden waste and flower soil
  • Waste from pet cages, no cat litter

Recyled cardboard bin

Put into this bin i.e.:

  • Corrugated cardboard, cardboard boxes, and wrapping papers
  • Empty cartons of milk, juice, cream, buttermilk, yogurt, and (including ones with aluminum coating)
  • Cereal and cookie packaging, empty cartons for dry products (including ones with plastic)
  • Empty paper bags for sugar, flour, bread, etc.
  • Packaging for toys and cosmetics
  • Pizza boxes, egg cartons, and disposable plates made of cardboard

Glass and metal bins

Put into these bins i.e.:

  • Glass bottles
  • Jars

Glass and metal are good raw materials, which should not be thrown into the general waste bin. Most VAV properties have separate waste bins for glass and small metal waste. If your property does not have these bins, you can check the location of the nearest glass and metal bin here.


  • Sort coloured and clear glass separately.
  • Rinse bottles and jars.
  • Remove caps and lids.
  • There is no need to remove labels or neck rings.

Do not put the following in glass waste bins:

  • window glass
  • glass from mirrors
  • insulated glass
  • heatproof glass (ovenproof dishes, oven door glass, coffee jugs)
  • drinking glasses, wire-reinforced glass
  • opalised glass (for example deodorant and cosmetics bottles)
  • china, crystal, ceramics, or car windscreens
  • light bulbs

These products and materials can be put in the general waste. Glass which can be recycled can also be taken to the HSY Sortti sorting station free of charge. Bottles offering money back should be returned to a grocery store or Alko.

Small metal waste bin

The following types of small metal items can be pun into the small metal waste bin:

  • rinsed cans and tins
  • washed aluminium containers and foil
  • metal lids and caps, the metal bases of nightlight candles
  • metal tins such as completely empty and dry paint tins (no need to wash them)
  • empty aerosols (remove the plastic cap)
  • metal saucepans, frying pans, utensils and Teflon
  • metal tools

It’s not allowed to put hazardous items in the metal recycling bins. These include:

  • batteries
  • paint pots containing paint
  • electrical waste and scrap electronics
  • fridges and freezers
  • televisions, computer monitors and other parts
  • electric cookers
  • washing machines

Small metal items will also be collected free of charge by HSY Jätehuolto’s recycling vehicles in the spring and accepted at all HSY Sortti sorting stations.

Mixed waste bin

The mixed waste bin is for all the waste that you cannot put into the bins mentioned before. However, it is not allowed to put hazardous waste into this bin. Below you will find instructions on how to handle hazardous waste.

Large metal waste

Large metal objects may not be placed in the ordinary metal recycling bins. Large metal domestic waste includes:

  • bicycles
  • sheet metal, guttering
  • metal machinery and equipment (fuel and oil must be removed)
  • metal parts of furniture
  • metal pipes
  • metal cables
  • wood-fired stove (stones and ash must be removed)
  • clean, empty and open drums

If the product contains more other material than metal, remove the other material before sending the item for metal recycling, or take it as such to a waste sorting station or a landfill.

Small loads of metal can be taken by car, van or trailer free of charge to an HSY Sortti sorting station or directly to a scrap dealer. Note: waste sorting stations will only take waste which the customer is able to lift onto the recycling platform him or herself.

Small amounts of metal waste will also be collected by HSY Jätehuolto’s touring collection vehicles free of charge.

Hazardous waste

Like it or not, hazardous waste which cannot be put in the ordinary rubbish bin occurs in every home. Hazardous waste can cause risks to the environment or to people’s health. This is why it must always be separated from other waste and sent for hazardous waste recycling.

Hazardous waste that occurs in the home includes:

  • energy-saving light bulbs, fluorescent tubes and small fluorescent bulbs
  • mercury thermometers and unused medicines (pharmacies or collection vehicles)
  • cooling, brake and hydraulic fluid for vehicles and lead batteries
  • waste oil, oil filters and other oil waste
  • solvents such as turpentine, thinner, acetone (also nail polish remover) and detergents containing solvents
  • batteries, button batteries and rechargeable batteries
  • paint, glue, varnish and lacquer, and timber protection and impregnation substances (also nail polish)
  • aerosols (slosh or fizz, bearing a chemical warning symbol)
  • treated timber
  • some electrical and electronic waste
  • alkaline detergents
  • pesticides and disinfectants
  • lead melted for fortune telling at New Year
  • photography chemicals
  • strong acid such as sulphuric acid

Completely empty containers of chemicals or other poisonous substances are not hazardous waste. Completely dry and empty paint tins and empty aerosols (with the plastic cap removed) can be recycled with small metal items.

Hazardous waste should be taken to HSY’s hazardous waste containers or a Sortti sorting station. You can read more in HSY’s hazardous waste guide.