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Hooray for Sweden!

By Bertie Lourens 23rd August 2017 Waste Management

Sweden’s revolutionary recycling system is the talk of the town when looking for new and innovative ways to implement zero waste strategies. Less than 1% of their domestic waste has been sent to landfill last year. How did they do that?

While most countries are battling to keep waste from their landfill sites, the Scandinavian country has been forced to import waste from the UK, Italy, Norway, and Ireland to keep its Waste-to-Energy plants operative, although it tends to be only a temporary for the time being.

Sweden government have implemented a close-knit national recycling policy that focusses on sustainability initiatives. This enables private companies to undertake the majority of the business of waste being imported and burned.
The energy goes into a “national heating network”.

“That’s a key reason that we have this district network, so we can make use of the heating from the waste plants. 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,” Anna-Carrin Gripwell, director of communications for Avfall Sverige, the Swedish Waste Management’s recycling association, explained in a statement.

In 1991, Sweden was one of the initial countries to implement a hefty tax on fossil fuels. They now source nearly half their electricity from renewables.

Sweden constantly thinks of new ways to stay green.


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Bertie Lourens

Author Bertie Lourens

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