The Story of Lahti

Smart processing and utilisation of materials and energy generation have formed a unique, growth-oriented ecosystem to whole Päijät-Häme region.

Waste is valuable

Sustainable recycling, waste utilisation and collection, and material recovery solutions have been being developed in Lahti since the early 1990s. Local companies, organisations and Päijät-Häme’s population of over 200,000 inhabitants generate roughly 200,000 tonnes of waste each year that is turned into profits. Today, Lahti is a forerunner in processing waste and reusing it. Innovative technologies support the whole waste treatment value chain: sorting, collection, reuse and recycling, as well as final disposal and the related logistics.

Kujala Waste Treatment Centre is one of the key business and innovation centres taking advantage of the circular economy opportunities available in Finland. Due to local advanced materials recovery and processing solutions, as much as 96% of municipal solid waste is utilised. Roughly half of the waste is recycled by processing into raw materials for industry, whilst the other half is used in energy generation.

Kujala Waste Treatment Centre offers an optimal setting for creating new and complete solutions for reusing all sorts of waste. The local area is home to several companies working on recycling and material recovery solutions. Together they form a unique industrial symbiosis, fostering each others’ eco-innovations.

Currently, 96% of municipal solid waste is utilised. Roughly half is recycled, whilst the other half is used in energy production

Waste is energy

Waste-based energy has been being generated in the Kymijärvi area for almost two decades. Source-separated waste is collected locally by Päijät-Häme Waste Management Oy (PHJ) and delivered to Lahti Energy to be used for the generation of renewable energy. These circular economy giants have gained world-leading excellence in a range of clean waste to energy methods. Waste-based energy generation has formed a unique energy ecosystem throughout the whole Päijät-Häme region.

Lahti Energy has gained world-leading experience in gasification technology and a new bioplant is currently being constructed to provide 100% renewable energy generation. The bioplant will provide strong support for the local economy and employment as part of the domestic fuel supply chain. Centralised energy production has dramatically reduced the need for imported fossil fuels, and the bioplant is another step towards fully self-sufficient energy generation for Lahti.

At Kuusakoski’s research and development centre in Kymijärvi, Lahti, staff study new ways of sorting materials, identify new material flows and recover precious metals from waste. Kuusakoski’s Ekopark produces biofuel from pre-recycled construction energy waste, providing up to 80,000 tonnes/year.

Waste-based energy generation has formed a unique energy ecosystem throughout the whole Päijät-Häme region

St1 plantNew life for bioresidues

Päijät-Häme is home to a nationally significant cluster of grain business expertise, measured both in grain usage and the processing value of grain products. The Lahti grain cluster – including beer, beverage and bread chains – provides around 3,500 direct and indirect jobs.

Grain-based residues are reused in biofuel and energy generation. Read more about how fermentable waste and process residues from local breweries and bakeries are being turned into bioethanol at the St1 Etanolix® plant.


Research & business

New opportunities provided by circular economy are constantly being sought out and tested. Unique facilities are available for a wide range of renewable energy and energy efficiency research purposes, as well as testing the technology of tomorrow.

Lahti has multiple innovative growth companies focusing on renewable energy solutions. New business areas serve as optimal test beds for new energy-related solutions – it’s easy to do business and find partners in the Lahti region!



The circular economy of tomorrow? We predict that…

  • It will be all about closing material circles.
  • It will mean generation of 100% renewable energy.
  • Collection methods and use of waste material will provide profitable business.
  • Biowaste will be the basic raw material of many everyday consumer products.
  • It will mean secured and self-sufficient district heating production for the years to come.
  • The Lahti region will achieve the perfect balance of supply and demand in both waste utilisation and energy production.


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