WasteLess Karelias

The project tackles littering and improves waste management in rural villages in North Karelia, Finland, and the Karelian Republic, Russia. We encourage and support local residents, authorities and companies in two Finnish and three Russian villages to improve their waste management system and the rural living environment. We explore local waste management situation and the perceptions, knowledge and potentials of waste prevention and recycling. The project organises local waste management workshops, clean up events, cross border school competition and a Trash-Art Festival.

The project is lead by University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and carried out in collaboration with SYKE, Association for Rural Culture and Education (MSL) and Insitute of Economics of the Karelian Research Center (IoE).

Follow the project on our website and in the WasteLess StoryPortal!


project news

Sorting of household waste in rural areas improved in North Karelia

News 12.5.2022
The raising of awareness, resident cooperation and improvement of waste management infrastructure have improved waste sorting and reduced the amount of mixed waste in villages in North Karelia. Financial gain was initially the most significant incentive for waste sorting, but its importance declined during the project. Instead, information about where sorted waste ends up is an increasingly important incentive for residents.

Household waste turns into new raw materials

News 21.12.2021
We found out where the recyclable waste ends up from the households of the small North Karelian municipality of Juuka. Waste is a valuable raw material and recycling has many positive environmental impacts. Although transport journeys can be long and cause CO2 emissions, the use of waste as a raw material for new products is more environmentally beneficial than making them from natural resources and other primary raw materials.

Science theatre on textile and electronic waste

News 28.10.2021
WasteLess Karelias took part in Environment & Art Week in Artfactory Siihtala during the Autumn holiday (16.-24.10.2021). On both weekends there was a science theatre presentation aimed especially for families. On the breaktime WasteLess arranged activities for the families and children to participate in. During the week, WasteLess organised also trash art workshops and product care story sessions.

Waste station in Timanttikylät officially opened 

News 4.6.2021
Building of new sorting and waste station in Timanttikylät was completed already in late 2019, but due to corona it´s grand opening was postponed until may 2021. That turned out to be a good thing after all since during this extra year sorting possibilities develped significantly. So in grand opening we were able to celebrate not only the new waste station but also it´s improved  functions.


Waste workshops via science-theatre 

News 17.5.2021
New ways of organizing waste info and art workshops for school children were tested in WasteLess Karelias project during this spring. Since corona has made it difficult to visit schools we decided to use virtual connection for workshops. Also new artform for WLK project was introduced; combination of science and theatre was the core of these workshops.


Construction of new collection points completed in Vedlozero

News 8.3.2021
Four new collection points for mixed waste have been installed in Vedlozero (Vieljärvi), Republic of Karelia, as part of the WasteLess Karelias Project. Each of them now contains from one to four mixed-waste containers. We hope that soon the old containers will be replaced with new ones, and then the collection points will become not only functional, but also more aesthetic.


Building up a ruin to come: why the Russian waste reform seems doomed to fail in rural areas?

News 16.2.2021
For two years now, the project "WasteLess Karelias" has been working in three Karelian villages - Vedlozero, Naystenjärvi and Tolvuja. We carry out specific activities – building collection points for mixed waste, conducting environmental campaigns and working with schools – to improve the waste situation.  Also, we are trying to understand why the ongoing Russian waste reform bypasses the rural areas. At the end of 2020, we published a research article, where we offer our own vision of the Russian waste reform challenges, and recently – a short popularised version of the same article. 





Published 2022-04-11 at 17:03, updated 2022-10-20 at 15:41