Waste and recycling

  • The goal of VR Group’s environmental commitments is to reduce landfill waste so that such waste would account for less than 15 per cent of all waste (excl. scrapping) by the year 2020.

The target was achieved well in advance: In 2015, only 10 per cent (1,630 tonnes) of all waste generated by VR Group ended up at landfills.

VR Group generated 25,129 tonnes of waste, including scrapping, during the review period. A total of 55 per cent of all waste was recycled. Most of the recycled waste was scrap steel from scrapped freight wagons and passenger cars that were unfit for operation. Spare parts were collected from the wagons and cars to maintain existing old rolling stock.

The basic objective is to prevent the generation of waste. The aim is to sort and recover all waste in an efficient manner.

Waste sorting in properties and in rolling stock maintenance

At the Helsinki Central Station, sorting was developed, container markings were improved and the efficiency of monitoring was increased in 2015. Mixed waste and paper waste are the two most common types of waste accumulating in the station area. Mixed waste is directed to incineration plants.

Other premises have moved towards utilising waste as energy, and waste recycling has been increased whenever possible. By the end of 2015, measures were begun for introducing energy waste containers to the workplace. The goal is to remove mixed waste containers from the workplace and replace them with energy waste containers.

The amount of waste ending up at landfills has also declined at depots and workshops. Mixed waste is increasingly treated as energy waste and mixed waste containers have been replaced with energy waste containers wherever possible. Personnel have been provided with information and training on the matter and at the Helsinki depot, information boards at recycling points show how waste is collected and how it affects our lives.

Higher material efficiency

The Group has created a unified model for the processing of work clothes that specifies when work clothes are to be directed for reuse, further utilisation or recycling. All work clothes that are in good conditions are transferred for processing, after which they are restored and can then be reordered, or they are sent back to the work station’s storeroom for clothing. Work clothes that are in poor condition are placed in the energy waste container or removed from circulation by the contract laundry service.

VR Track utilises machine control in the construction and maintenance of tracks, which improves material and energy efficiency as well as the quality of the work. In machine control, an instrument is installed in a construction machine that either helps the operator to work in a more precise manner or allows automatic operation of the machine. Machine control is based on 3D models created by planning and GPS tracking.