A group of Russian waste management operators, experts and sponsors visited Finland on April 24–25, 2019 to learn what the latest waste management innovations could do for Russian waste management and the businesses in the industry. Finnish waste management equipment is known in Russia for its high quality and efficient operation.

Clean Country, a Russian waste management organization, was one of the active organizers of the visit. Clean Country works to promote best practices and thought leadership in Russia. This cooperation is a good indication that, while the general public is upset about the situation and changes, the professionals and forerunners in the field are hopeful and are actively seeking new solutions and business opportunities.

The group visited both Tana’s factory and a demonstration site at Kuusakoski, Hyvinkää.

“The experience was very well received. At our factory, they saw a lot of machines in production that are soon to be delivered to customers around the globe. That impressed them and further convinced them that these solutions are desired and trusted globally”, says Anniina Rasmus, Key Account Manager at Tana.

The Russian operators and experts were especially interested in municipal solid waste (MSW) shredding where the MSW includes all kinds of waste which has not been separated.

“Practically no waste is separated at source in Russia. This means that the waste management equipment has to be able to handle any type of MSW waste, from food waste and diapers to furniture and end-of-life tyres. The visitors saw at firsthand that the Tana Shark is up to the task”, Rasmus says.

One of the excited visitors was Sergei Gladstein. He works at Gidrokor, an engineering company in St. Petersburg. The company designs landfills and waste management sites for its customers.

“My experience with Tana landfill compactors goes back many years, and I have been in Finland before. On this visit, my special interest is the Tana shredder and screen. I look forward to seeing how they work together as a complete processing line”, Gladstein says.

Waste is a major challenge but also an extraordinary business opportunity

While the waste issue is a major challenge, it also presents extraordinary business opportunities. Russian waste management operators and other professionals in the field are looking for cost-efficient technologies and solutions to address the issue and to help build the new waste management system and culture in Russia.

New technologies enable the profitable processing of waste even if it is not separated at source, as is the case in Russia. For instance, the waste shredder processes the municipal solid waste (MSW) to a smaller size and separates any metals for extra income. Screening the waste shred enables grey compost to be separated. With the grey compost removed, the waste is more sanitary and takes up much less space at the landfill. This creates a complete processing line where all the machines are mobile and can easily be moved where they are needed.

The changes in Russia are creating a real buzz around the topic. To further speed up the change, the waste management fees paid by citizens have recently been raised. This improves the profitability of the waste management business, but the citizens are not pleased with the new fees. It’s no wonder that the waste problem is a hot topic. However, the improved profitability of the waste business has led to several events being planned in May and June, enhancing business opportunities in the field. After the UFA seminar, the Finnish Embassy organizes an event where Finnish companies promote products, services and cooperation between Russia and Finland.