A soil fill area was established on the east side of the Vuosaari landfill. Before the filling, there was a forest on the site, but now the peak rises to over 60 metres above sea level!
During the construction process, surplus soil, non-decaying construction waste and industrial ash were taken to the site from various parts of Helsinki. Approximately 5 million cubic metres of these materials were taken to the site between 1990 and 2005. Since then, smaller quantities of selected topsoil and the seed bank it contains have been used to create specific habitats.
Currently, the soil fill area is 29 hectares in size, corresponding to 39 football pitches.
The construction of Vuosaari Harbour was decided by the City Council of Helsinki in 2002. Due to the construction of the harbour, it was decided to increase the height of the soil fill area. The harbour was under construction for almost six years and started operations in late 2008. The construction process produced a huge amount of surplus soil, which was piled up at the nearby Vuosaarenhuippu with the help of giant earth movers. The short transport distance of the enormous amount of soil generated considerable societal benefits as the carbon footprint decreased and millions of euros were saved. In addition to the harbour, soil was brought in at a later stage from under the Hartwall Arena built in Pasila, Helsinki, for instance. The soil fill area rose to its current height between 2003 and 2012.
Since the 2010s, the goal has been to recycle clean soil, and it is not perceived as waste in the same way as before. In Helsinki, soil has been used in, for example, the rehabilitation of the Vuosaari landfill, where clean soil has been placed in the surface layer. It can be used for green construction, as has been done, for example, in the Vuosaari sports park and Alakivenpuisto in Myllypuro. Efforts are currently being made to exploit the soil as close as possible to the construction site, avoiding long transport distances to soil fill areas. In Helsinki, no place has been allocated for a new soil fill area, because the space required for it is intended to be used for the expansion of the city.