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Solving Sweden's Trash Deficit

You read that right, Sweden's trash problem is that it doesn't have enough of it. Due to a spectacularly successful rate of recycling, the country doesn't have enough garbage to power its waste-to-energy program. It's solution: import trash.
October 24, 2012, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Ariel Schwartz describes the lengths the Scandinavian country is going to feed its waste incineration program [PDF], "which began in the 1940s, treats over 2 million tons of waste each year, [and] heats 810,000 homes." Because Swedes recycle an astonishing 96 percent of their trash (compared to 34 percent in America), the country is now importing trash from its neighbors (including Norway, and potentially, Italy), to the tune of 800,000 tons annually.

"One day, perhaps Italy, Norway, and other countries will realize that they're actually giving away a precious energy resource," says Schwartz. "Until then, Sweden is happy to be the garbage man of Europe."


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Published on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 in Fast Company Co.Exist
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