The Environment

Sweden is Turning Trash into Electricity So Fast It’s Now Importing Garbage From the UK

The country recycles over 99% of waste and imports over 800,000 tonnes more each year...

As far as saving the planet goes, Sweden are certainly doing their part. They recently announced that they’re going to be investing $546 million with the aim to become the first fossil fuel free country in the world, and their recycling program puts the rest of us to shame as well.

It’s so prolific that the country barely has any waste any more at all, and actually has to import garbage from the UK, Italy, Norway and Ireland to keep their amazing waste-to-energy (WTE) program running.

The Scandinavian country prioritises sustainability at government level – for obvious reasons that much of the rest of the world can’t apparently see – and recycles 1.5 billion bottles and cans per year. Given that the population is just under 10 million, this is a stunning figure.

That means that the country only produces 461kg of waste per year end. So less than one percent of all discard ends up in landfills.

Not only does Sweden manage to keep their waste figures so low, they actually manage to produce energy for district heating system and electricity from burning their tossed out cans.

Sweden’s WTE program sees furnaces loaded with garbage and burned to generate steam. The gas produced from this process is then transferred to transmission lines and the power grid, and so the country reduces toxic that seeps into the ground to leak methane gas and other greenhouse gasses and instead goes directly towards solving the problem. The country has 32 plants dedicated to the program.

Before being incinerated, garbage is first filtered by homes and business owners, who separate food scraps and paper products in a similar way to how we do in the UK, just with more care.

Because the waste which would’ve been is carefully examined, there isn’t much rubbish left for the WTE program, hence why the country has to import garbage from among others, Britain.

“We feel that we have responsibility to act responsibly in this area and try to reduce our ecological footprint,” states Per Bolund, Swedish Finance and Consumption Minister. “The consumers are really showing that the want to make a difference and what we’re trying to do from the government’s side is to help them act, making it easier to behave in a sustainable way.”

Can we just put Sweden in charge of the world?

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