It would serve Americans greatly to take a page out of Sweden’s book about recycling their waste.
The Scandinavian nation of Sweden has set a new precedent in the world of recycling its trash, with a near zero waste amount of 99 percent. Sweden was already ahead of the game back in 2012, when they were recycling 96 percent of their trash, but the three percent jump in just two years is quite impressive. Image credit: sweden.media
How does Sweden do it? They have an aggressive recycling policy, which goes in an order of importance: prevention, reuse, recycling, recycling alternatives, and as a last resort, disposal in landfill. As of 2014, only 1 percent of their waste ends up in a landfill.
Swedes understand that producing less waste to begin with is key to reducing the amount of trash that ends up being thrown away. Something as simple as using reusable containers for water and drinks can greatly reduce the amount of trash each person produces per year.
They have a very advanced system of trash separation which makes it easy to recycle nearly everything that’s thrown away.
Much of the left over waste is taken care of by using “recycling alternatives”, such as the Waste-to-Energy program, which is explained in this video:
While the “recycling alternative” remains controversial, it’s cleaner than drilling for oil or natural gas to burn in traditional power plants.
Sweden is so good at recycling its trash in fact, that it now has plans to import 800,000 tons of garbage from other countries in Europe in order to create heat for its citizens through its Waste-to-Energy program.
America should take note of this process considering we only recycle approximately 34 percent of the garbage we throw away.