City of Jyväskylä is testing citizens’ ideas on circular economy

City of Jyväskylä enhances resource wisdom and circular economy of everyday life with short and agile experiments.

These experiments are part of the nationwide CIRCWASTE – towards circular economy in Finland -project. CIRCWASTE project promotes efficient use of material flows, waste prevention and new waste and resource management concepts. It is funded from the EU Life IP programme and lasts for seven years (2016-2023).

The goal of the experiments in Jyväskylä is to seek new, innovative ideas and solutions to circular economy of everyday life; to provide possibilities for citizens to live more sustainably with the help of solutions enhancing recycling and reuse of materials and shared use of items and services.

The ideas and solutions to the experiments come directly from the citizens, companies and associations residing in the Jyväskylä region.

We organise an idea competition three times during the CIRCWASTE project. You may participate to the idea competition with an idea or solution that eases the flow of materials, creates opportunities for more sustainable way of life for citizens or reduces amount of waste, explains Ms. Outi Manninen, the project manager of the C.14 action of the CIRCWASTE project.

Best ideas and solutions submitted via the competition will be selected by an expert panel and further developed in the project to be completed as concrete experiments. Experiments are usually short and agile test periods, lasting from a few weeks to a couple of months. Through the experiments different actors may test some new way of operating, with low risk and with the help of financial support from the project. The experiments will provide important lessons to be learned of potentially functional and effective ways to operate more sustainably and to advance circular economy. These experiments may also reveal challenges and practical issues that may need further development and innovation to be solved in the future.

Students testing a shared biogas car in Jyväskylä

In the context of the CIRCWASTE project in Jyväskylä, students living in the city had the chance to participate in a three-month trial period of shared car service during the spring and early summer 2021. The purpose and goal of the experiment was to influence on the attitudes of students related to owning a car and private car driving. Through the experiment students were offered a chance to test and use a shared car. This experiment was carried out in cooperation with the Central Finland Student Housing Foundation (KOAS) and car sharing service Omago Oy.

The car used in this experiment runs environmentally friendly with biogas. Thus, we were also able to raise awareness regarding biogas cars through this experiment, Outi Manninen notes.

Shared car experiment in Jyvaskyla. Photo by Hanna-Kaisa Hamalainen.

The results from the experiment were excellent. During the whole trial period of three months, the car had approximately 40 active users, while altogether 185 users registered as new clients for the carsharing service during this period. The car was in use each month approximately 19 % of the time which equals to about 140 hours by average per month. The utilization rate was thus very high compared to privately owned cars which are normally used only about 5 % of the time.

We are very pleased with the results of the experiment. One shared car may potentially replace about 10-15 privately owned cars, which is a real climate action. This experiment confirms our view that services promoting shared use of cars and other things have high demand in the city, even in different user groups such as students, Outi Manninen rejoices.

Overall, the users were pleased to the trial and were wishing for continuation of the service. Due to the success and good experiences and feedback from the trial, the cooperation between the carsharing operator and the Central Finland Student Housing Foundation is still on-going, thus the shared car service will be available for the residents of the student housing for a longer period.

Food services in the city of Jyväskylä testing smart technology to combat food waste

Food Services of the city of Jyväskylä aim to combat food waste with a goal to decrease it down to maximum 8 percent per year by 2030. As a concrete action to implement this goal, the food services took part in an experiment of the CIRCWASTE project to decrease the amount of food waste in a school cafeteria with the use of smart biowaste scale system. The system provides direct feedback on the amount of food waste to the user if they trash food while return their plates and cutlery to be washed. There are approximately 630 diners in the cafeteria every day.

The food waste trial had encouraging results despite the short six-week trial period. One of the main findings was that the type of food served seemed to affect the amount of food waste generated overall, both in terms of the amount of uneaten food left on the buffet counter and amount of trashed food by diners. This provides important information for the planning of the weekly menu as well as for the estimation of the amount of food that needs to be ordered per week. Due to a short trial period, the Food Services have decided to continue the test period of the smart biowaste scale system, to gain more data and experiences for further action to combat food waste.

Food waste experiment in food services. Photo by Hanna Rauma.

 

More information:

Outi Manninen
Environmental Specialist
City of Jyväskylä
Finland
outi.manninen (at) jyvaskyla.fi