This Country Is Importing Garbage – and Making Money!

This Country Is Importing Garbage – and Making Money!

Yes, you read that right: This Scandinavian country is forced to import trash from other countries to keep its state-of-the-art recycling plants going. And there are more than enough takers for this move. Norway and England are paying Sweden to take their trash, and Sweden is using that trash to heat their homes.

 
Courtesy sweden.se

Sweden gets a significant portion of its energy from burning household waste. Sweden sources almost half its electricity from renewables. Its "recycling revolution" is so efficient that less than one 1% of the country's waste goes into landfills. According to information published by the government, more than 99% of household waste in Sweden is recycled. The country reportedly imported 8,00,000 tonnes of garbage in 2014.

 
Courtesy : webholism

They are also trying to 'move up the refuse ladder,' i.e, from burning to material recycling. It's all part of a larger effort to get down to zero waste by 2020. It was one of the first countries to implement a heavy tax on fossil fuels, as early as 1991.

 
Courtesy: takepart

Even though it’s private companies who undertake the business of importing and burning waste, the energy goes into a national heating network. And Sweden is not alone in this. Countries like Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, are also among the ones that import waste for use in their state-of-the-art recycling facilities.


This move does come as a boon for those EU countries who have enforced a ban on landfills. Rather than paying the fine and recycling the waste in its home countries, people simply ship it elsewhere. At $43 a ton, Sweden got to make about $100 million the last year alone!
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