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Exp2: SMARTY: IoT - equipped food waste composter

1. CRFS Vision 2030 and the challenge

Lahti Living Lab carries out innovation actions that contribute to EU, city of Lahti,  and Cities2030 visions and objectives.  

  • EU Food 2030 policy: Nutrition for sustainable and healthy diets. Food systems supporting a healthy planet. Circularity an resource efficiency. Innovation and empowering communities
  • Lahti vision 2030: Sustainable and carbon neutral city region
  • Cities2030 objective: Enhance circularity and local food belts

The purpose of the experiment is to improve the carbon handprint of city dwellers and promote food self-sufficiency and resilience.

The experiment responds to the challenge to promote the circulation of nutrients contained in urban household food waste from the table back to the soil.  

2. Objectives of experiment

2.1  Background and drivers

According to the studies, bio-waste has the greatest recycling potential in Finland. With the amendment to the waste law, the collection of bio-waste will become mandatory for all residents in agglomerations with more than 10,000 inhabitants. From July 2022, the separate collection obligation of bio-waste will come into effect in  apartment buildings in urban areas with at least 5 apartments. For all residents of urban areas, the separate collection obligation of bio-waste will come into force from July 2024, including single-family houses.

The new waste law increases inhabitants' general awareness of food waste fraction, it increases the quantity of collected food waste that is composted in a centralized composting process,  and it also promotes inhabitants' own small-scale bio-composting in all types of housing environments.   

The city waste management authority builds a register of households that run their own bio composter. Authorities monitor the households’ composting practices.  In addition, authorities record the quantity of separately collected food waste in the statutory composting register. The information in the register is used to calculate the recycling rate of our country's biowaste. Finland's target for biowaste recycling is up to 65 percent by 2027, while it was 42 percent in 2020. The municipal waste (all fractions) recycling target for 2030 is 60%. 

2.2 Objectives of the experiment

The experiment will test and study:

  • What kind of IoT - solution enables localization and remote monitoring of bio composter?
  • How could urban waste management authorities and operators make use of  IoT-equipped bio composter and associated data in their own work?
  • What is the potential value for real estate maintenance of the IoT-equipped bio composter and associated data? 

Key Performance Indicators 




Emissions in Lahti in 2020 is 1188 ktCO2e (link)

Positive contribution

400 ktCO2e (2030)

Waste management impact on emissions (link).

Positive contribution

-50% ktCO2e (2030)

The Päijät-Häme municipal waste recycling rate in 2020 was 43%. The goal for 2030 is 60% (link)

Positive contribution

60% (2030)

Food self-sufficiency in Finland in 2022 is 80% (link)

Positive contribution



Bokashi experiment: 

27 Lahti Living Lab core participants, incl. stakeholders. 2 of the participants are men. Through the 10 experimentalists' own networks, more than 100 people received information about bokashi and the experiment. About 25% of them were men.

IoT-equipped bio composter experiment:  

Total number of stakeholders that have been in the loop: 27 person, of which 18 are women.








Bokashi experiment:

Lahti Living Lab posting reviews at social media: At least 1,000 likes and more than 12,000 post views were achieved through continuous social media communication via several Linkedin and Facebook accounts.

IoT-equipped bio composter experiment:

100 likes, about 8000 views

13 000+



1 000

Innovations: SMARTY: IoT-equipped bio composter experiment



Bokashi experiment:

Best practice: Timely, versatile, and multi-actor nudging framework to promote food waste reuse and circulation to the new regime.



Bokashi experiment:

Improvements: (1) Created an open data base, and PowerBi web-solution to visualise the data. The data is shared at Finnish open data platform on 23.9.2022. (2) In the Lahti region, there are now a force of 10 experts of experience who are volunteers to give their insight to bokashi beginners on request.

IoT-equipped bio composter experiment:

Improvements:Revised SMARTY, Extended target group for SMARTY,Focused metrics,Inbuilt scalability,SMARTY third parties






3. Methodology

The experiment applied the Lean Startup methodology Ideate - Build - Monitor - Learn which is introduced in more detail below.   

The experiment was initiated in June 2022 and it was closed by the end of November 2022. 

  • The ideation phase took circa half a month in June 2022. The core actors were Biolan Oy and Smart & Lean Hub Oy

  • The building phase was twofold a) food waste bio composter preparation and b) ICT architecture, sensor- , IOT-  and data collection solutions. The building phase lasted from the beginning of July until the end of November. The core actors were Biolan Oy and Smart & Lean Hub Oy

  • The monitoring and learning phase lasts from the beginning of September until the end of November.  The core actors were the invited stakeholder members (see the chapter 4), Biolan Oy and Smart & Lean Hub Oy


3.1 Ideate

The ideation kick off meeting was held in the end of July 2022.  The core actors,  Biolan Oy and Smart & Lean Hub Oy,  participated the meeting.    The main roles of actors were defined as follows: 

  • Biolan Oy:  ICT architecture, IoT solution, mobile application (BioApp), data management, bio composting know-how, business sector know-how. 

  • Smart & Lean Hub oy:  Bio composting data visualization with Power BI application, Lahti Living Lab orchestration and event facilitation, stakeholder management and communication, reporting of innovation action and results, and communication and dissemination of actions.


In the ideation phase the following tasks and interventions were scoped

  • SMARTY- IOT-equipped bio composter that enables localization and remote monitoring of composter

    • Planning and developing a mobile application, revision 0, BioApp

    • Visualization and publication of the data by Power Bi, revision 0

  • E-governance perspective: public waste management authorities assess and give feedback prototype solution.  (The waste management authority of the city of Lahti, Waste management operator of the region, Salpakierto Oy)

  • Real estate maintenance service perspective:  to assess and consult on how the IoT-solution impacts real estate maintenance service practices. Discussion about biowaste composting in different types of properties. (Kanta-Häme Property Association)

  • Lahti Living Lab built the bio composter testbed.  It’s the first SMARTY application that is external to the Biolan ICT environment. 


In the ideation phase, the GANTT was prepared. It guided well the progress in the following experiment phases.  In the GANTT illustration, the notification “M” refers to meetings that were held during the process. 


Biolan Oy owns the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of the SMARTY brand and -solution. 

3.2 Build

The experiment's building phase was aligned with the plan.  No major deviations took place.  

The ramp-up of the bio-composter succeeded well at Lahti Living Lab test bed. 



The ICT - architecture was designed 



SMARTY - mobile application (Bioapp) were introduced.




The mapping of Finnish municipality waste operators were included into the scope of experiment:https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiMTJiYTViMjktMTk4Zi00ODkxLTgyZWUtYmQ4ZjQ1NTQ2ODIwIiwidCI6ImM4NTBmZTljLWI0NmMtNGIyZC1iODYzLTAxZmEyYTg5ODA2OCIsImMiOjh9&pageName=ReportSection




The Application Programming Interface API for the third party application were designed and implemented.


The bio composter data visualisation by Power Bi application: https://app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjoiNjk5NGU0MmUtNTdmNC00YWEzLWExY2ItYzU4ZWQyZDE0MzM3IiwidCI6ImM4NTBmZTljLWI0NmMtNGIyZC1iODYzLTAxZmEyYTg5ODA2OCIsImMiOjh9



The key stakeholders were contacted and invited to a consultative meeting on 18.10.2022. 

3.3 Monitor

The monitoring took place in two manners: core actors’ (Biolan Oy and Smart & Lean Hub Oy) self-assessment and stakeholders’ consultative assessment and feedback.   

The former covers the whole period of the experiment and all measures.  The outcome of self-assessment is included in the Learn-phase analysis (see 3.4). 

The latter assessment method was an online meeting in which the core actors demonstrated the solution to stakeholders.  In addition, some stakeholders gave feedback also by email after the meeting.  The stakeholders' feedback is structured into 2 SWOT analyses that are addressed to e-governance and real estate maintenance. 

E-governance SWOT - localisation and remote monitoring



Real estate maintenance SWOT - localisation and remote monitoring

Word Cloud


3.4 Learn






Lessons learned

The first version of SMARTY was designed already in 2018-2019.  The technologies didn’t allow us to apply all ideal solutions and features. It's sometimes useful to review the old ideas again. 

Biolan Oy's positive and open-minded attitude gives faith and confidence in the future of Finnish SMEs.

4. Stakeholders

The biowaste management in Finland interests a wide group of stakeholders which is illustrated in the below image.  There are waste operators at the municipality level, utility providers, logistics operators, and public authorities in 220 municipalities.   There are the bodies that are on law, regulation, EU communication, and monitoring the performance.   There are some associations that work for the inhabitants' benefit giving advice and support.  And lastly,  there is a large group of institutions, organizations, associations, entities, and projects that provide services on education, advisory, research, development, innovations, and data. 

During the experiment, almost all types of stakeholders were contacted in different manners.  Totally, including core actors,  27 people,  of which 18 were women, were reached out to.  In 18.10.2022 consultative meeting participated 10 stakeholder members and core actors,  of which 4 were women.   




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