The importance of material flow management was highlighted in the Waste Management Joint Authority Ekokymppi with the waste reform. Flow by Pinja provided a solution to the challenge.

The cooperation in brief

Close cooperation from the start

The cooperation started in fall 2020, and Ekokymppi has also been involved in the development of Flow since its service design.

Mobile weighing and electronic movement documents boost operations

Flow’s mobile weighing function speeds up the driver’s work, while electronic movement documents ensure accurate and traceable reporting.

Accurate information to support decision-making

In addition to the material flow management and tracking system, Pinja has also produced a Power BI solution for Ekokymppi, which has become an important knowledge management tool.

The change brought by the reform of the Waste Act is so big and affects so many that we want to implement it together with all our key partners. Pinja is definitely one of them.

Marjut Kinnunen, Customer Service Manager at Ekokymppi

Waste Act reform as a catalyst for development

Ekokymppi’s mission is to provide a clean, comfortable, safe and healthy living environment for the people in its area. It is committed to promoting sustainable development, which is reflected in all its activities. Sustainability is reflected in modern and innovative practices, continuous competence development, flexibility, and openness towards customers and partners.

The major reform of the Waste Act, which came into force in phases from July 2021, has been the biggest change in the history of Ekokymppi. In the municipality, the biggest upheaval was in waste transport, and it required a review of the entire operation. With the renewal, Ekokymppi introduced the slogan “Best together” in spring 2022 to emphasize the importance of all links in the chain.

– The change brought by the reform of the Waste Act is so big and affects so many that we want to implement it together with all our key partners. Pinja is definitely one of them, says Marjut Kinnunen, Customer Service Manager at Ekokymppi.

Ekokymppi identified the need to automate operations; in particular, the outdated weighing system needed an update. Changes in staffing also supported the reform of the system. The cooperation with Pinja started in fall 2020, and Ekokymppi has been actively involved in the development of Flow by Pinja from the very beginning, and has also shared its own experiences in the circular economy industry with Pinja. Flow provided Ekokymppi with the smooth material flow management capabilities it needed, including a reception system, mobile weighing, reporting, and warehouse functionalities.

Flow by Pinja was introduced in phases, with mobile weighing starting in early 2022, when the Waste Act also introduced the requirement for electronic movement documents for certain types of waste. Around 70% of weighing is now done by mobile weighing, which speeds up drivers’ work as they no longer have to get out of the truck. Paper processing has also decreased significantly.

– The electronic weighing certificate improves accuracy and traceability, and is also sustainable, which is important in this industry, says Teija Korhonen, service employee at Ekokymppi.

Ekokymppi uses Flow by Pinja at its waste center, and electronic movement documents are in use at eight sorting stations. The electronic movement document also supports internal operations and serves the management of material flows at sorting stations in many ways. For example, the station manager can order a transport for a platform in advance, and orders can be monitored via the system. This makes it easy for Ekokymppi to monitor how the contracts with the waste stations perform.

Collaboration to control material flows

The cooperation has been rewarding for both parties. Pinja has a solid track record in circular economy solutions, and was not only able to offer a dedicated team and a reliable product, but also a wide range of services as a versatile operator. Acute situations have been dealt with quickly, and challenges have been solved through teamwork. Ekokymppi, for its part, has brought strong industry expertise and its own experience to the co-development process.

– Cooperation has been good. The solid professionalism and software understanding of Ekokymppi’s contacts have made co-development a straightforward process, says Jukka Heikkinen, the product owner responsible for the Flow team on Pinja’s side.

– The acquisition and deployment went well. When being part of the pilot, we felt that we were heard, confirms Kinnunen from Ekokymppi.

At the moment, the system is almost complete with the final integrations to be fine-tuned, but the package will be developed further. In addition to Flow, the Power BI reporting solution, which was introduced in fall 2022 to support efficient reporting, has also proven to be an important tool for knowledge management. The way of working has been mutually beneficial, and may lead to new collaborations in the future.

Ekokymppi in a nutshell

approx. 80,000 inhabitants in the area of activity

97–98 % of the received waste is recycled

60 % of the received waste consists of municipal waste