Helsinki dumps most of its snow into the sea at Busholmen, which has drawn criticism because of all the dirt in the snow. Compared to Stockholm, Helsinki still looks good.
This time of year it’s snowing and snow removal is on full roll. Since there is no ice on land in Helsinki, much of the snow removed from streets and squares is transported to Busholmen, where it is dumped into the sea.
The city has six ice caps on land and one at sea.
With the snowfall, a lot of dirt and debris from the streets washes into the sea. This can cause problems for the marine environment.
– A multi-year project is underway to find alternative solutions to dumping ice at sea. The goal is to replace the ocean tip within ten years, says Tero Koppinen, Stara’s product manager.
Stara is a company owned by the city of Helsinki and is responsible for snow removal.
A move is a plan for three more ice terminals on land.
The city will launch a pilot program where snow will be offered to entrepreneurs who can use it, for example, in winter sports facilities. Another plan is to use snow for cooling energy.
Stockholm is worse
Dumping ice at sea has been criticized for causing environmental problems. But Helsinki has set a net in the sea around the snow dump to collect debris and prevent it from floating away.
That’s not the case in Stockholm, says Malinda Flotman, a news officer at the city’s transport office. As a result, Stockholm has no way to clean up the ice dumped into the sea.
– We regularly take samples of snow and water to check that there is no more pollution than allowed, says Flotman.
Stockholm has 4 sea ice terminals, Helsinki has only one.
12.12.2022 at 10:15: Article updated with more information about snow removal and plans for the future.
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