Waste and recycling tracking

I try hard to minimise my environmental impact, but without being aware of the effect daily decisions have, it can be a challenge. Since moving to Finland I've become much more conscious of exactly how much energy I use, how much stuff I consume, the possessions I accumulate and how much waste all this activity produces.

Partly this is a result of me living in a one-person flat, and partly because since August 2019 I've been keeping an accurate record of how much waste I generate. Where I live in Tampere there are bins for six types of waste: paper, card, glass, metal, compost and general. Everything except the last of these is supposed to be recycled. Finland also has an exemplary network of financially-incentivised bottle and can returns. So each fortnight I find myself splitting waste into eight different categories. It's already effort, so taking weight measurements as well isn't a big deal.

This page covers the year up to my most recent readings. For older data, select on one of the links in the summary table.

Year Average daily output Annual output More info
2019 339.53 g 124 kg 2019 graphs
2020 154.98 g 57 kg 2020 graphs
2021 119.88 g 44 kg 2021 graphs
2022 122.93 g 45 kg 2022 graphs
All data As of 01/2023: 155.81 g As of 01/2023: 57 kg Graphs of the complete dataset

For comparison, in 2019 per capita annual household waste was 566 kg in Finland and 502 kg across the EU. See eurostat for other countries and years.

The following histocurve shows my daily waste output for this year based on data I collect each bin cycle roughly once per fortnight. The area under the graph represents my total waste output. Click on the graphs for larger versions.


Daily waste data histocurve


Some brief points to note about the graph:

  1. Green categories are recycled by the council; general waste in red isn't recycled.
  2. This is output for a single person.
  3. Data points correspond to when I do the bins, roughtly fortnightly.
  4. For info about how the graphs are generated, see my Graphs of Waste posts on the topic.
  5. The script used to generate the graphs can be found on GitHub.

To view histograms showing the actual values recorded for each of the waste types, select one of the graphs below. Be aware that they all have different scales on the y-axis, so they're not visually comparable.


Waste data histogram - General
Waste data histogram - Plastic
Waste data histogram - Compost
Waste data histogram - Returnables
Waste data histogram - Metal
Waste data histogram - Glass
Waste data histogram - Card
Waste data histogram - Paper


Waste Index

10 most recent items

4 Jun 2023 : A Year Being Human: Inputs and Outputs
4 Jun 2023 : A Year Being Human: Inputs and Outputs
23 Apr 2023 : How lightly did I tread in 2022
1 Jan 2023 : Waste Data Dump
19 Dec 2022 : Waste data dump
27 Nov 2022 : Waste data dump
29 Oct 2022 : Waste data dump
21 Oct 2022 : Waste data dump
9 Oct 2022 : Waste Data Dump
6 Sep 2022 : Waste data dump


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