On the second excursion of our circular economy spring tour we visited the waste-to-energy plant in Vantaa. Modern and among the best in the world, it burns unusable waste from the Helsinki region rather than it being put in a landfill. It meets about half of the district heat needed by the entire city of Vantaa, covers about 30% of the electricity demand of Vantaa, and reduces significantly the emissions of greenhouse gases compared to conventional energy production.
Student Eetu Vatanen observed “I was surprised as to how modern and clean it was. I was most intereseted in the filtration processes, where they use ammonia to remove NOx, which is the hardest thing to think about in terms of emissions.”
Student Jasmin Sundbäck said “I was really interested because I have been living here all my life. I noticed they were building it, but did not know they were burning waste. Nice to learn the difference between energy and mixed wastes. Interesting too that they have a limit on the mixed waste they can take in.” Fellow student Liselotte Levonius, who had recently written a project on the waste-to-energy plant, noted that “district heating water is green!”.