Sweden’s Dilemma: Not Enough Garbage

A world without garbage would be unimaginable for most places in the world, but not for Sweden. Due to their highly efficient waste-to-energy program, Sweden has run out of trash.

garbage

A trash pile is converted into heat and electricity at a waste-to-energy incinerator in Oslo.

Sweden’s waste management and recycling programs are the best in the world as only four percent of the nation’s waste ends up in landfills. By contrast, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over half of the waste produced by U.S. households ends up in landfills.

In order to continue fueling the waste-to-energy factories that provide electricity to a quarter of a million homes and 20 percent of the entire country’s district heating, Sweden is now importing trash from the landfills of other European countries. In fact, those countries are paying Sweden to do so. Sweden’s sustainability is not only cleaning up its country but it’s on its way to cleaning up Europe!

Image: New York Times

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