November 18, 2016

Five for Friday: Working wonders with waste

One man’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Finland is at the frontline for waste-related innovation.
One man’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Finland is at the frontline for waste-related innovation.

With what to do with waste being such a hot topic globally, this week we take a look at innovative solutions from Finland for what’s left behind.


Since 1991, this company has been providing its semi-underground Deep Collection waste containers to a global customer base.

The simple yet effective design of the Molok storage containers mean that around 60 per cent of each container is located below ground, taking up less space and serving another important purpose.

“Because of the coolness of the ground, there are no problems with odour,” explains Saritta Duhamel, controller, Global Activities at Molok, also pointing to the effectiveness of having a black lid firmly capping the container. “When the sun hits the lid, the waste also dries and then there is no smell.”

Zen Robotics

The Zen Robotics Recycler reduces waste processing costs and increases recycling efficiency, using smart machine learning technology to detect and distinguish different types of waste.

“We want to offer our customers the most advanced technologies and the Zen Robotics Recycler is the best available technology in its field,” commented Yutaka Ebihara, Sun Earth CEO, after his company made a deal with Zen Robotics in August last year.


Unboxing and disposing of piles of packaging material is deemed a necessary evil of online shopping. But not anymore. After paying a small upfront fee, customers can return the packing by post after their shopping has been delivered. After the returned packaging is received, the user is rewarded with a voucher (usually ten euros) to use at any web store using the Repack service.

“We believe that as long as reuse is made easy, people prefer it to throwawayism,” Jonne Hellgren, co-founder of Repack, told us in 2014.


This smart waste management company uses sensors to collect and analyse data from waste containers across the world, creating efficiencies and providing valuable insights.

“We are excited to be working alongside Enevo in supplying innovative products that enable our customers to contribute towards a cleaner and more sustainable environment,” said Neil Gilkes, national sales manager at Glasdon UK, after a recent deal between the two companies made headlines.

Pure Waste

No textile goes to waste with this company, rather it forms the source of this 100 per cent recycled clothing. In fact, Pure Waste claims to have saved 200 million litres of freshwater by making products out of recycled cotton.

“Recycling is no longer about finding the cheapest possible way to come up with some kind of mess; instead, the focus is on achieving the best possible end result,” company founder Jukka Pesola said last year.