Do we really understand what recycling is?
These are their response…..

“I am 19 years old, I think recycling is to make the city beautiful and to remain healthy. I do not know what global warming is. Social Immigrant
Service taught me about how to recycle properly. The housing personnel has arrange such program to teach us about proper method of recycling. I come from a country where recycling does not exist at all. We did not separate them and threw all rubbish together.”

“I do separate the Bio-Degradable waste and plastic waste in this city. I have not used the Bio-Degradable bag before, but I started using them now. I think the cardboard and newspaper should not recycle together. But for the Vacuum Waste Bag, I don’t know where to recycle it. For the used battery, I heard there is a place in the city center where we can recycle them. But I don’t know where exactly is. For the light bulb waste, I threw those in the Glass Bin.”

“I am 23 years old, and I think recycling is to reuse the products those have been in used. There were not special teachings on how to recycle properly in this city. But the city where I lived before taught me how to recycle. I also learned from television. Thailand is the country where I came from, and we threw all the rubbish together. We did not separate them. I think, Recycling could help to reduce the global warming, but there are also other factors that create pollution and to increase the world temperature.”

“For the Vacuum Waste Bag, I think I should throw it into the Newspaper Bin. Those unusable bulb and they are made of Glass. Well, I don’t really know where I should throw. I kept all of those at home, because I don’t know where to discard those.”

“I am 30 years old and I think recycling is to reuse the used product several times, so the world’s resources would not run out. Regarding the global warming, I think it is because of Nuclear Emission, deforestation and carbon emission from cars. I have been through recycling education programme in the country where I came from, but it was not success. The government could not sponsor well and there were not enough waste bins.   Well, if we recycle properly, it will help to reduce the global warming directly or indirectly.”

“I do separate the waste, but I think the bio-degradable bag is quite expensive. I have big family and I can afford to pay the cost of those bags are only 3.5 Euros per month. I could not afford if it is more than 5 Euros per month. I rarely use the bio-degradable waste at home. For the battery waste, I know there is a place in the Prisma where we can discard. Yes, I have noticed about the bulb waste, I have not seen the light bulb’s waste bin. I discard those in the glass bin.”

(Those are some of the surveys response on recycling, taken from some of the immigrants residing in Jyvaskyla.)

We came from different part of the world to resettle here in Finland and we have been through severe life experience back home. Not to mention about recycling, we have been survived by trying to save our own life by running through mountains, deserts, and the seas.

Being in Finland is like being in another part of the world. Everything is new to us, and we are in hunger of knowledge too. From electrical appliances to Bus transportations, those are the things we have not seen before.  In fact, we have been running to save our own life by not noticing what is happening on the other part of the world. Those included the recycling subjects.

No matter where we came from, nor no matter how serious life threatening experiences we may have been, Finland is the country where we begin our new journey of life. In order to start a new life, we have to discard all the unnecessary practices and the bad behaviours. We may pretend not to notice about the recycling back in our home country, but being in Finland means you have to know how to recycle well.

Waste simply means the materials we consumed are no longer in need. The word “Recycling” may seems very new to us, but it means how we can reuse the materials that we no longer wanted. Waste can be separated into reusable wastes, unreusable wastes, and the wastes that can effect the natural environment. We all use the material when we need and we discard them irresponsibly. We need to change our custom to create better and beautiful future. Unlike in Finland, we can see the plastic waste in all places back in our home country. The main reason Finland is different because everyone take responsibility. We should always imitate the good behaviour, so that we can start our life meaningfully. 

All the waste around us can be degraded by nature or the bacteria, but it takes several years to do so. For example: If you throw a plastic bottle in front of your house per day, it will become 365 bottles in a year time. Plastic bottle can only be degraded approximately in 70 or 450 years, there fore if you discard one bottle will create trouble for the coming 450 years.

The following are the degradable time charts for different waste materials-

Name Degradable Time Name Degradable Time
Banana peel 2 to 10 Days Diapers 10 to 20 Years
Orange peels 1 Month Leather shoes 25 to 40 Years
Sugarcane Pulp Products 1 to 2 Months Nylon fabric 30 to 40 Years
Cotton rags 1 to 5 Months Tin cans 50 to 100 Years
Paper 2 to 5 Months Aluminum cans 200 to 500 Years
Rope 3 to 14 Months Plastic Bottles 70 to 450 Years
Wool socks 1 to 5 Years XPS Foam cup Non-Degradable
Cigarette filters 1 to 12 Years Biodegradable Plastic Bags 75 Days
Tetrapaks (plastic composite milk cartons) 5 Years Biodegradable Paper Cups 75 Days
Plastic bags 10 to 20 Years    

There are 7 main waste bins being used in Finland.
1. Bio-Degradable Waste (Biojäte)

  1. Left over foods
  2. Fruit peels, and Vegetable peels
  3. Coffee and Tea bags
  4. Fish bones and other bones, Egg
  5. Flowers, Flower stalk and other small plant
  6. Waste from animals

X Plastic Bottle and Metal Material should not discard here.
X Diapers and Used Vacuum Bag shout not discard here.
X Petrol waste and Energy waste should not discard here.

Bio-Degradable waste can be discarded underground in the backyard, or used as soil in the own garden. Waste should not discard in to the lake. Remember not to discard the plastic material into bio-degradable bin. Bio-degradable bag cost around 7 sent per bag, and will cost up to 4.50 Euro per month.

2. Papers and Paper related (Keräyspaperi)

  1. Newspapers, Magazines and advertising leaflet.
  2. Textbook, Drawing paper (without the hard paperback)

X Unclean papers, cardboards and XPS Foam cup and wrapping paper.  

3. Cardboard (Ruskea pahvi)

  1. Cardboard paper , Box cover and milk carton
  2. Brown Cardboard၊ Brown Carton

X It can be any colour but beware not to throw the cardboard coated with plastic.

4. Glass Related Products (Lasi)

  1. Clean bottles and any colored glass bottles
  2. Glass plate, Mug and other household glass products

X Unusable light bulb should not discard here. Light bulb consists of mercury which can harm the environment.  
X Ceramic, floor tiles, window mirror and thermometer should not discard here. 

5. Metal related waste (Metalli)

  1. Food Can, Aluminium Can and other metal related products
  2. Dried and empty paint tin

X  Do not discard Spray Paint can or aerosol spray cylinder.
X  Do not discard Electric related products and electric wire here.

6. Dry Waste (Kuivajäte)

  1. Plastic Material, Floor tiles, Vacuum bag, XPS Foam cup and dirty paper.
  2. Wrapping paper, Empty Spray Paint can or empty aerosol spray cylinder and linen

X Do not discard left over food and dangerous waste here.

7. Dangerous Waste (Ongelmajätteet)

  1. Battery, Electrical products, Light bulb, spray paint or cylinder with gas, Flammable product, acid product.
  2. Prodcut that can endanger the natural environment and product consist of chemical

* For medicine waste, you can discard at the nearest pharmacy.

You can discard the dangerous material at the following location:

Mustankorkean jätteenkäsittelykeskus, P. 411 5900
Seppälän Prisman kierrätyspiste, P. 630 749
Kierrätyskauppa Eko Center, P. 333 7040
Teboil, Kukkumäki, P. 338 1900
Esso, Hanikaisenkatu, P. 621 277
Huoltoasema St1 Mutteri, Kuokkala, P. 339 0900
Liikennemyymälä ABC!, Keljonkangas, P. 447 7200

Htaung Hteink Min