Utilisation of surplus land and waste in earthworks

Utilisation of surplus land in construction

The utilisation or storage of surplus land generated during construction may require a permit in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act. Soil filling or storage may require a separate permit in accordance with the Land Use and Building Act. Ask the Urban Environment Customer Service about this permission requirement.

Surplus land should primarily be used for earthworks. Using surplus land does not require an environmental permit, as long as it is ensured that:  

  • the soil does not constitute waste  
  • the soil does not contain increased levels of harmful substances 
  • the soil is not stored for a long period of time (usually more than 12 months)  
  • the utilisation is based on a building permit or other permit or plan approved by the authority.

Need for an environmental permit

If the soil constitutes waste, for example, due to a long storage period (usually more than 12 months), the utilisation generally requires an environmental permit. In certain cases, soil can be utilised with a notification in accordance with Section 12 of the City of Espoo’s environmental protection regulations.

Long-term storage of soil materials requires an environmental permit.

To be noted in the treatment of soil 

Unusable soil, or soil for which no reuse site can be found, must be delivered to an authorised reception facility. Unpolluted soil and grit can be delivered to, for example, the Kulmakorpi soil dumping area. 

Construction sites may contain sulphide clay, which may form acid sulphate soil harmful to water systems. The formation of acid sulphate soil can be prevented by not allowing sulphide clay to come into contact with the air. 

Clean grit used on roads can be used in earthworks without an environmental permit or notification when the grit has not been collected from areas with polluting activities. The grit must not contain debris. 

Utilisation of waste in earthworks

Reusable waste can be utilised in earthworks either by means of notification procedures or with an environmental permit. Such waste may include, for example, crushed concrete and crushed asphalt. Soils may also be considered waste.

If the amount of waste does not exceed 500 tonnes, Section 12 of the City of Espoo’s environmental protection regulations (extrernal link)is generally applied.  The reuse site must not be located in an important groundwater area. The notification must be submitted to the Espoo Environment and Building Control Department or Environmental Supervision 30 days before reusing the waste. Submit a notification of waste utilisation in earthworks

Utilisation of more than 500 tonnes of waste is usually considered to be treatment of waste on a professional basis or at an installation. In this case, utilisation requires registration in Environmental Protection’s information system. For the registration, a MARA notification must be submitted to the Uusimaa ELY Centre. If the conditions of the MARA decree are not met, for example, as regards the quality of the waste or groundwater, an environmental permit(extrernal link) is required.  Submit a registration notification