2021-06-23 12:44Press release

New Climate Broadcast series: Transforming waste from Villain to Hero in the climate crisis challenge

Unique table-talk series on circularity kicks off with pioneering project to turn ash mountains into a valuable industrial solution – while opening up a market for captured carbon.

In Estonia in Eastern Europe there are deposits of oil shale ash so high that they are used as ski slopes in the winter. The up to 600 million tonnes of ash contained in these piles are the result of the country's six decades lasting use of oil shale to generate electricity and district heating for its citizens.

The ”ash hills”, as they are called, have been named the greatest environmental problem of the nation. But they are now about to be turned into valuable resources, and in a way that will help economies cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

A pioneering project aims to harvest precipitated calcium carbonate, PCC, from the ash by combining smart technological processes with the use of sequestered carbon. PCC is normally produced by mining limestone in quarries and then precipitating it, using large amounts of fossil fuels. By instead extracting PCC from the ash hills, and in the process using CO2 that has been captured and stored elsewhere, the project will greatly reduce the need for virgin materials while at the same time saving millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

This also means that the quest for captured CO2 has begun. In 2027, 250 000 tonnes of captured CO2 will be needed in the process. Another 250 000 tonnes will be saved by not having to mine virgin limestone.

The exciting Estonian project is one of the main topics in episode one of Circular Table-Talks, a new digital broadcast series created by Ragn-Sells, a leading environmental company in waste management and recycling; and We Don’t Have Time, the world’s largest social network for climate solutions.

Currently, the world is consuming 100 billion tonnes of materials per year, and only 8.6% of those are in any way circular. According to The Circularity Gap report of 2021 this needs to double if we are to keep our planet from overheating. The Circular Table-Talks series will therefore focus on transforming problems to new values, or simply put: ”Turning trash into cash”.

”We are really happy to team up with We Don’t Have Time for these broadcasts. By utilizing their network and great experience in digital broadcasting, we can spread the word about different circular solutions, highlight the crucial importance of seeing waste as a resource rather than a headache, and share new, inspiring ideas that can benefit people, the planet and help build green economies locally and globally”, says Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability at Ragn-Sells.

Ingmar Rentzhog, founder and CEO of We Don´t Have Time, says: ”Moving from a linear to a circular economy is absolutely necessary to solve the climate crisis and the wider environmental challenges linked to it. Ragn-Sells is a visionary company with great experience and knowledge in terms of circular economy, and is simply the perfect partner for us in these broadcasts.”

The first episode will be broadcast 15:00 CEST (9:00 EST) on July 1 and will also include:

 • A keynote by Darragh Conway of Climate Focus on building a good and stable price on carbon as a way of unleashing ever more climate solution innovations

• Krzysztof Bolesta, CCUS Policy Lead at the European Commission: The EU perspective on policy and action regarding carbon capture and storage.

• Laxmi Haigh, Lead of Editorial at Circle Economy: Circularity’s current role in world economy.

• Dr Richard Mutafela: Reusing glass from centuries-old contaminated glass dumps in the “Kingdom of Crystal”.

Register for event here.

Another five episodes of Circular Table-Talks will follow throughout the year. Circular economy will also be the main theme of the Exponential Climate Action Summit III, a part of the New York City Climate Week in September. The event is hosted by We Don’t Have Time in partnership with Exponential Roadmap Initiative, Ericsson and Ragn-Sells, and will be broadcast live on We Don’t Have Time and Twitter. The last Exponential Climate Action Summit, on Earth Day, had an audience of five million people from more than 100 countries.


Ragn-Sells is a privately held corporate group operating companies in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Estonia. Ragn-Sells collect, treat and recycle waste and residual products from businesses, organisations and households, with the aim of bringing resources back into the loop and enable a circular society. 

For more information about the CO2 project in Estonia: https://www.osaservice.ee/

WeDontHaveTime AB (publ) is a Swedish establishment registered in Stockholm, Sweden (reg no 559126-1994), operating the social network WeDontHaveTime.org. We Don’t Have Time is a social network for everyone who wants to be a part of the solution to the climate crisis. The power of many enables us to influence businesses, politicians and world leaders. But We Don’t Have Time to wait. Find out more: wedonthavetime.org/about-us

For more information, please contact:

Nick Nuttall, Strategic Communications Director, We Don’t Have Time
nick.nuttall@wedonthavetime.org, +49 160 2111102 

Ingmar Rentzhog, founder and CEO, We Don’t Have Time
founder@wedonthavetime.org, +46 73 633 29 10

Pär Larshans, Director of Sustainability, Ragn-Sells
par.larshans@ragnsells.com  +46 70 927 29 63

About Ragn-Sells Group

Ragn-Sells is a family owned corporate group, with operations in four countries. We started our journey in 1881, and since 1966 we have been involved in waste management, environmental services, and recycling. We collect, treat, detoxify, and recycle waste and residual products from businesses, organisations, and households so that they can become feedstock into new production processes. www.ragnsells.com


Emma Ranerfors
Press Officer
Emma Ranerfors