Finnish environmental services company MKO Ympäristöpalvelut needed a mobile and efficient shredder with which it could efficiently and flexibly process waste from the construction industry into renewable energy.
The TANA Shark 220DTeco shredder fulfilled the need perfectly and now shreds construction waste from the surrounding region to produce energy for Hikinoro Oy, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cellulose–based insole material for footwear.
When Jyväskylä-based MKO Ympäristöpalvelut was looking for its own shredder for processing waste generated from construction, the environmental services company decided to turn to Tana. “It was important to us that we could handle several different types of waste with one shredder, and that’s why we chose Tana,” says Hanna Hietama, Business Director at MKO Ympäristöpalvelut.
MKO Ympäristöpalvelut operates at the Mustankorkea waste management centre in Jyväskylä. The environmental services company specialises in collecting and processing demolition waste and side streams from the construction industry. Most of the construction waste delivered to Mustankorkea is generated within a radius of approximately 150 kilometres. “Our premise is that that waste should be processed into material for the circular economy near to where it is generated. Otherwise, with excessive transportation, the environmental benefit that can be achieved with recycled materials would be lost,” Hietama points out.
Local manufacturing and Tana help bring products to the world
Since the beginning of 2023, MKO Ympäristöpalvelut has been processing some of the waste wood from the construction industry into renewable fuel for local company Hikinoro Oy, which manufactures insole materials for footwear for export markets. In other words, it is now possible to produce fuel locally from construction waste generated locally so that local products can reach customers around the world.
“We use locally produced renewable fuel to dry cardboard by mixing wood chips with the biofuel we use. The water vapour produced as a byproduct of the drying process is then used to heat our approximately two-hectare facility,” says Jari Mäkelä, Managing Director of Hikinoro Oy. MKO Ympäristöpalvelut receives approximately 4000 tonnes of separately collected timber each year. In addition, the environmental services company is able to separate approximately 1000 tonnes of wood from the construction waste delivered to its collection point. Most of the wood is processed into renewable fuel using a TANA shredder.
“By fully utilising the wood we receive to produce renewable energy, we are able to reduce the pressure on harvesting energy wood from nature and do our part to protect carbon sinks. At the same time, of course, it’s great that we can help local products reach global markets using locally produced energy,” says Hietama.
TANA Shark 220DT combines durability and versatility
When developing its business, MKO Ympäristöpalvelut thought carefully about what type of shredder was best for its current situation. The circular economy company decided on a TANA shredder thanks to its fuel efficiency and suitability for handling a wide range of materials. “Of course, it was also natural for us to turn to a local company. Since Tana’s machines are designed in Jyväskylä, it was easy for us to thoroughly familiarise ourselves with the various options,” Hietama explains.
The benefits of the TANA Shark 220DTeco shredder used by MKO Ympäristöpalvelut include durability, low operating and maintenance costs, and a comprehensive selection of rotors, as well as easy mobility. “We got a first-class shredder without having to pay unnecessarily for features we don’t need,” Hietama adds.
Own shredder provides flexibility for processing waste
Before purchasing its own shredder, MKO Ympäristöpalvelut subcontracted the processing of waste wood into renewable fuel. Although subcontracting often increases flexibility, MKO Ympäristöpalvelut soon realised that this was not always the case when processing wood. “For an outsourced shredder to be cost-effective, there must always be enough material to shred. Storage, on the other hand, exposes the material to humidity, especially in Finnish conditions,” says Hietama.
If the material is too moist, its energy value decreases. At the same time, the weight of the material increases, so transporting it consumes more energy. Shortly after taking delivery of its TANA 220DTeco, MKO Ympäristöpalvelut noticed that, despite being purchased for a specific purpose, the shredder started to provide additional flexibility to the processing of waste.
“Now we can process construction waste as it is delivered to us. Since we don’t have to store material in humid conditions, we also don’t have to sell in effect moisture to the customer,” says Hietama.
Demand for locally produced fuel
The renewable fuel produced locally near Hikinoro’s production facility is so-called category AB fuel and replaces the virgin wood previously used in Hikinoro’s boiler. Managing Director Jari Mäkelä believes that in the future it can also increasingly replace the amount of wood chips sourced directly from the forest. “The environment is our main motive for using renewable fuel, although in the long run it may also be financially beneficial. Especially in Central Europe, consumers are environmentally aware and products produced in a green way are increasingly in demand,” says Mäkelä. MKO Ympäristöpalvelut is also planning to increase the production of recycled fuel processed from construction sites. Due to the carbon sink effect alone, it is important not to harvest wood unnecessarily from the forest for energy production.
“Locally produced recycled fuel is an appealing option for more and more industrial companies. The environmental footprint of production must be reduced, and at the same time the availability of recycled raw materials is good while the exposure to external energy price fluctuations is minimal.”