These 6 solutions will improve biowaste separate collection in Tallinn

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

Tallinn urban challenge is city-driven approach to innovation. Estonia’s capital defined its problem: insufficient biowaste recycling due to poor separate collection on spot. The challenge was for startups, companies and scientists with a wise idea on how to improve biowaste separate collection. Helping hands with a plan for pilot project were welcomed from all across the world. Many of the presented ideas will be available soon in Tallinn.​

Today biowaste makes up at least 1/3 of municipal solid waste. Around 30% of biowaste is recycled in Tallinn. Biowaste could be valuable raw material, but this is underused according to present system. Unfortunately, there has been no simple way to inspire biowaste separate collection at homes and in food processing facilities (canteens, restaurants etc). Biowaste treatment is usually unpleasant, smelly and “yucky”.

The main reasons citizens bring out as obstacles in waste separate collection are lack of space for different bins in the kitchen and the long distances from the nearest biowaste container. Luckily, there are great solutions ready to be taken into your everyday habits - that was also the goal of Tallinn urban challenge project to create implementation plan for improving biowaste separate collection on spot.

Here are the 6 best solutions from 4 different countries:

EKOKAMU, Finland

Elina Voutilainen

Ekokamu is a vacuum biowaste container with an integrated air absorption system. It has 4 litre container and it is machine washable. Thanks to the oxygen-free vacuum, decomposing slows down. With Ekokamu you can say goodbye to smelly and ugly biowaste bags in your kitchen. Ekokamu keeps its contents dry and fresh. Just empty when full. Suitable even on kitchen table. It sure does look great and stylish! Website:

CRUSHER, Estonia

Karl–Josep Jakobson & Henri Daniel Ots

Spin-off team from Estonian University of Life Sciences. They provide collection system for food waste for catering industries. Alreayd available to be used in facilities with big amount biowaste generation (hospitals, schools, supermarkets, hotels, food production venues etc).

Crusher crushes food waste and mixes it with water. The formed semiliquid mass is stored in a tank and then collected with special tank truck to biogas production facility. Of course, biogas is produced out of this semiliquid food waste.

Crusher vision: service trucks and Tallinn bus transport will run on biogas made from food waste. As biowaste could be turned into valuable biogas, then the team slogan is: Don't waste waste! & Don't waste energy!

SORTÉR, Green Ideas Group AB, Norway

Geir Langeland & Torstein Johnsen

Green Ideas Group AB is specialized in developing, selling and marketing technical solutions for the environment regarding waste-management. Sortér™ has a solution for modern kitchens with the recycle bins in the drawer. They know a compact way how to fit all the different bins under your sink. The waste recycling solution is made for both 60 cm and 80 cm sizes of kitchen base cabinet. It for sure solves the problem not having enough space for separate bins.