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  • Recycling rate higher than in 2012

    In 2013, the VR Group generated 19,204 tonnes of waste, and 3,799 tonnes (20 per cent) of this total ended up in landfills. A total of 66 per cent of all waste was recycled. Most of the recycled waste was scrap steel.

    According to its environmental promises, VR aims to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills so that its proportion of all waste will be less than 15 per cent by the year 2020.

    VR constantly aims to reduce the amount of waste and increase opportunities for waste sorting and recycling. However, the main aim is to prevent wastage and the generation of waste. Developing procurement procedures, selecting the right materials and making changes in working practices will help to achieve this aim.

    Waste sorting and recycling practices have been improved, particularly at depots and workshops. For example, a total of 85 per cent of all municipal waste is already recovered during rolling stock maintenance.


    Measures aimed at reducing the amount of waste

    In train toilets, efforts have been made to reduce the amount of paper waste by introducing electric hand dryers. In addition to making trains cleaner, the decision will help to improve the functioning of the onboard toilets because paper towels can block them.

    Separate collection of biowaste was started on restaurant cars on a trial basis.

    A study on organising waste management at the Helsinki Central Station was completed in 2013. The indoor litter bins at the station will be replaced and the sorting of waste on the premises will be improved in 2014 so that the waste recovery rate can be increased.

    Old disused freight wagons and their parts are used in the building of new wagons, and wagons that have been withdrawn from service are sent for recycling as scrap steel.

    A nationwide campaign to collect electric and electronic waste at all VR Group sites was organised in 2013. During the campaign, all unnecessary electric equipment was collected for recycling.

    Machine control is being used in track construction and maintenance. With machine control, an instrument is installed in a construction machine that either helps the operator work in a more precise manner or makes it possible to automatically operate the machine. Machine control allows for the use of materials on a more efficient basis.

    The environmental criteria for procurement also take into account material efficiency and recycling.


    Future prospects

    Collection of waste that can be used as energy will be increased at a number of sites in 2014. The waste sorting rate will be increased, particularly on trains and at stations. The changes in waste management planned for the Helsinki Central Station will be implemented in 2014.

    Sorting of waste on restaurant cars will be done on a more efficient basis in 2014. Customer facilities on the new double deck DuettoPlus restaurant cars, which will enter into service in 2014, will have separate containers for three different types of waste (energy waste, mixed waste and biowaste). In the old restaurant cars, there will be containers for mixed waste and biowaste.