OtaHoas had a recycling corner in one of their clubrooms, Jmt 11 C-D. There were some shelves set up with possibility to bring used items or take them away for reuse.

The place worked fairly well, but eventually useless stuff started piling up more and more. Old machine parts with everything useful stripped out. Very dirty carpets. Random wood pieces. Broken chairs. The amount of junk got so high that actual recycling activity was low, and Hoas decided to quit the corner, removing the shelves and junk.


No designated place for recycling existed in the student village. There was one unofficial recycling shed which housed additional items besides the basic sorting bins, in Otakaari 20 inner yard. Most items were discarded into hallways (like sofas and used computers), or besides recycling sheds outside (like mattresses, chairs, microwaves). These had limited reusability time - if noticed early enough and taken away, they could be reused (most stuff was still functional and intact), but rainfall would soil especially the furniture into a mushy pile.

There was an improvement as well - due to the student village being a very active moving area (students leaving and coming monthly), Hoas and TKY provided waste crates for bigger furniture and trash that wouldn't fit into the standard containers. These got permanent spots in Jmt 10 and Jmt 7.


A member of the green student association, Siru Kauppinen, talked to TKY and managed to agree on a recycling center space being established. The place, Smt 6 D basement, was left over after the TKY archive had moved into new premises in the newly constructed Otaranta house's basement. Siru started advertising the center and held the center open at designated times. Permission was asked to distribute on the leftover furniture remaining in the newly acquired space.

After the summer, more student activists joined in to keep the center open and running. There were members from Entropy (lots of people, including Sini Numminen and Terhi Marttila), OYS (including Annika Rantala and Emil Karlson) and Vihreät teekkarit (primarily Siru and Teemu Meronen). The first version of recycling center homepages was done by Johannes Aalto of Vihreät teekkarit, based on Wordpress.


More people and their representative associations joined in, specifically Otakut (Joni Nevalainen and Risto Järvinen) and Vihreät teekkarit got a main representative in Tommi Horttana. Some changes were made in the opening times based on people's schedules and willingness to continue. The recycling center got new webpages based on PmWiki, and an opening times calendar from Google, both created mainly by Joni. A picture gallery was added into the homepages to ease the viewing of center selections.

The center got some donations from a euro box, which were used to buy tools to assist in handling the furniture, tape to make reservations and such. At first, the reservations were limited to one month's advance, but when an increasing amount of furniture failed to get retrieved in time and other visitors could not take the reserved items, the reservation period was shortened to a maximum of 2 weeks.

Donations came also in other forms - a billboard and a trolley were donated from the electronics department, which made note posting more elegant (instead of taping into walls) and sped up the transports of furniture within Otaniemi. TKY was pleased with the service provided as well, so the arrangement was formalized into a contract and van times were provided in exchange of the time spent operating the center. The van proved to be an immense help in cleaning out items that wouldn't budge in months, like too worn-out sofas or pieces of broken furniture. During van availability days, assistance was also provided to moving students who had things to bring to the center or take out from it. Larger sofas and shelves got moved this way to further reaches of Espoo, including Espoonlahti, Leppävaara and Lauttasaari. One massive set of binders was retrieved from a donating company in Vantaa.

The center also accepted new responsibilities after the contract formalization. Foreign student survival kit distribution was allocated to the recycling center, which led to an increase in storage space and a separate locked room to store the kits in (and any other additional items the participating associations are willing to store). A computer terminal was also provided to the center to handle the kit pick-ups and returns. Monetary traffic would be done solely in TKY's end.

Advertising of the center's services is done regularly in TKY newsgroups, as posters in building entry hallways and as a signpost sign at the beginning of Smt. The picture gallery is updated ever so often and OYS especially has been reliable in keeping the center open at regular intervals, on mondays 18-20.

Experiences from operation

  • Biggest traffic usually happens during the month change, when people are moving about.
  • There is almost a constant dribble of items away from the center, in other words most visitors find something they can use.
  • Keeping items free-of-charge saves a lot of time and effort, and increases the center's popularity
  • Supervised opening hours are essential in keeping the center in shape and avoid degradation into a pile of junk. Center operators clean every now and then, organize things for better display visibility and control the reservations in addition to answering possible questions by the visitors
  • A fair number of visitors come repeatedly, to check any new items brought in during the week
  • Sometimes things can find new owners even before reaching the center, like when carrying beds inside
  • Operators can clean out the nearby hallways, sheds and other "dump places" as well. Benefit comes in two forms: places keep cleaner and more items find new owners.
  • Advertising the center is essential in getting "customers", especially in the beginning when you need to tell people that this kind of a place exists at all.

Problems and future ideas

  • Since there can't be that many opening hours, it would lessen the operators' burden it it were possible to borrow the key from one place (like the TKY secretariat), as opposed to current situation where one of the operators need to open the door when somebody wants to bring something to the center outside opening hours.

More recent development (Written in 2018 by Annika)


  • Aalto University started 1.1.2010. TKY became AYY.
  • Recycling center got a Facebook page. At a later point the picture gallery of was moved to Facebook as it was easier to upload pictures there.


  • In 2011 Vihreät teekkarit became Aaltovihreät.
  • Länsiväylä wrote about the recycling center.
  • 11/2011-4/2012 the recycling center was closed due to water damage in the building. Remaining furniture was storaged in the opposite space.
  • In 2012 AYY quit the Survival Kit system, as it was too much work to manage. Recycling center got the leftover survival kits and was allowed to do with them what was deemed best. After some consideration, it was decided to continue loaning out the kits, but not have any money involved in the process (it would have been to difficult to handle the money at the recycling center). It was thought that some kits would be returned and some not. Missing items could be replaced from other kits and items donated to the center, but over time the system would probably have to stop because there would not be enough utensils left.


AYY gave guidelines to AYY's residents about pests (bedbugs, beetles etc.). People were instructed not to bring anything into the recycling center if they had had pests in their apartment. In future years bedbugs and other pests troubled both the Teekkari Village and the recycling center.


  • Recycling center has been open 1-2 times per week. In addition, there´s a phone number where people can ask the recycling center to opened outside opening hours. Such requests are also handled through email and Facebook.
  • In recent years the recycling center has been managed mostly by OYS, Otakut and individual volunteers.
  • Reservations have not been allowed for some time, as a lot of people never came to pick up the furniture they had reserved. It was too much work to
  • There are still about 10 Survival kits left, as some missing items have been replaced.
  • AYY van has been used a few times per year to clean the center and handle bigger donations (like multiple office desks and such).

General history

No formal agreement between TKY/AYY and the associations has been signed since 2009 or 2010. At some point the recycling center was under AYY Village Senate (Kyläsenaatti), but the Senate does not exist anymore. However, the AYY van has been available to clean the recycling center and also move stuff into the recycling center. Also at least 2010-2017 there have been recycling saunas (organized mainly by Otakut), mainly as a thank you for people running the recycling center, but also open for everyone interested in recycling and the recycling center.

Otaniemi Recycling Center

Kalenteri ei enää oikeastaan käytössä: * Otaniemi center reception times / Aukioloajat * Instagram above old Instagram (Nikolay), Reuse&Rescue ("kaapattu", ei Viakon hallussa): Instagram * How you can help * Survival Kit info Moving Service otettu pois näkyvistä 4.12.2014/AR * Moving service


* Waste electronics recycling guide * Requesting or Donating Items


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