A waste study conducted at the Nokia Networks Oulu facility as part of the building of an EMS in 1997-98 revealed that only 22% of all the waste produced was recycled. Esko Nurmi, who is responsible for waste management and recycling in Oulu, says the volume of landfill waste could be significantly reduced during 1999. In 2000 some 58% of all the waste was recycled. In 2001, the figure should rise to 60%.
According to Esko, the goal is that recycling should cover the greatest part of waste management costs. This goal was nearly attained in 1998, thanks to the wave-soldering machine that produced as by-products tin that also contained precious metals. Currently, metals used in printed wiring boards can be recycled while the glass fiber board can be utilized in energy production within the recovery process.
Recycling has been tested in various projects in Oulu. Esko says that one area where a lot remains to be done is plastic recycling. Impurities are one reason for the slow progress. Impurities, such as paper labels glued to plastic component boxes, easily block the jets of plastic molding equipment.