Sweden is leading the way when it comes to recycling and using renewable energy.
Thanks to its efficient management of managing waste, Sweden has run out of garbage and has been forced to import rubbish from other countries to keep its state-of-the-art recycling plants going.
Sweden imports eight hundred thousand tons of trash from the UK, Italy, Norway, and Ireland to ensure that their power plants stay up and running.
The Swedes have realized how important it is to respect the environment, and a result they have minimised the percentage of waste going into landfills.
Instead of simply throwing everything in the trash and forgetting about it, the Swedes put a conscious effort into understanding where their trash should go in order to make the best use of every single waste product.
Each Swede produces just over 500 kg or half a ton of household waste every year, but according to statistics, a margin of less than a percent of waste from Swedish citizens had been sent to landfill in 2016.
The country has imposed a hefty tax fine for the use of fossil fuels since the year 1991, and up till now half of their electrical energy and heating systems are comes from renewable energy.
Sweden has implemented a cohesive national recycling policy so that even though private companies undertake most of the business of importing and burning waste, the energy goes into a national heating network to heat homes.
The director of communications for the Swedish Waste Management’s recycling association, Anna-Carin Gripwall mentioned that “In the southern part of Europe they don’t make use of the heating from the waste, it just goes out the chimney.” Here we use it as a substitute for fossil fuel, she added.
Equipped with 32 WTE plants, the Swedes load furnaces with garbage, which is then converted into steam. The steam that is generated is in turn used to spin generator turbines to produce electricity, transferred to transmission lines and the power grid, thereby reducing the amount of toxins that is released.
These waste-to-energy plants successfully heat roughly 810,000 homes and provide electricity for 250,000 homes in Sweden.
In addition, Swedish municipalities use futuristic waste collection techniques, like automated vacuum systems in residential blocks, removing the need for collection transport, and underground container systems that free up road space and get rid of any smells.