An illustration of a campaign truck, Source: HSY on Facebook

Travelling comics teach Helsinki’s residents about hazardous waste

Travelling comics teach Helsinki’s residents about hazardous waste

Check out the gallery above to see the cartoons

During the last week of February, Helsinki’s residents can see two new hazardous waste collection trucks on the city’s streets. Unlike other trucks, however, these are part of Helsinki Region Environmental Service’s (HSY) campaign to help citizens identify what products are hazardous waste. More specifically, the trucks have comics-like illustrations on their sides, showing people what they must look out for when sorting waste.

“Hazardous waste collection trucks are in traffic every weekday, emptying our collection points. The sides of the trucks are a visible, moving notice board, which we want to use for educational purposes in this way,” explained HSY’s Operations Manager Marjut Mäntynen.

What products should we be wary of?

The illustrations, black and white cartoons by artist Samuli Siirala, depict individuals doing everyday activities such as using hairspray or gardening. In red, Siirala then highlights the products that are hazardous waste. Commenting on this, the illustrator notes that the comics-like depictions are well suited for the campaign as they subtly hint at danger.

Hazardous waste helsinkiOne of the illustrations (Source: HSY on Facebook)

Giving some examples, HSY reports that paints, varnishes, corrosive chemicals, engine oils, thinners, solvents, gasoline, batteries, hairspray, perfume, nail polish, and other products are all hazardous. As such, one must dispose of them in a safe way, rather than discard them in a mixed waste bin. 

Instead, residents must discard them in one of the forty hazardous waste collection containers in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and Kirkkonummi. Alternatively, they can deliver their waste to HSY’s Sortti stations. 

Aside from using the sides of trucks to relay this information, HSY will also broadcast the comics on other communication channels and post a quiz on hazardous waste online. 

To see Siirala’s illustrations, view the gallery above.



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