Municipal solid waste production and composition in Finland-Changes in the period 1960-2002 and prospects until 2020

Laura Sokka, Riina Antikainen, Pekka E. Kauppi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Waste reduction was recognised as the main goal of waste management policy in the EU in the 1990s. Although knowledge of past waste generation is essential for effective waste reduction policy there are no comprehensive statistics on the past development of municipal solid waste (MSW) production. MSW management is currently under turmoil in many EU countries as the requirements of the EC landfill directive (1999/31/EC) are set into force. In this study, the production and composition of MSW in Finland between 1960 and 2002 is presented using historical data. The impact of population, affluence and technology on MSW production are analysed using the IPAT equation and three scenarios are constructed until year 2020. The results are compared with national future targets on MSW production. Production of MSW increased in Finland until 1990, declined to year 1997, increased to 2000 and then declined again. The share of organic and plastic waste increased over the study period while the share of paper and cardboard declined. The results suggest that so far national targets on MSW reduction have been set fairly low. Moreover, our scenarios depict a wide range of future MSW production, even though the time horizon is not longer than 15 years into the future. In order to narrow this range, continuous improvement of the statistics of MSW is essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-488
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Finland
  • IPAT
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Time series
  • Waste composition
  • Waste reduction


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