Stockholm: Sweden has run out of garbage and the Scandinavian country has been forced to import rubbish from other countries to keep its state-of-the-art recycling plants going.
Sweden, which sources almost half its electricity from renewables, was one of the first countries to implement a heavy tax on fossil fuels in 1991. Sweden’s recycling system is so sophisticated that only less than one per cent of its household waste has been sent to landfill last year.
“Swedish people are keen on being out in nature. We worked on communications to make people aware not to throw things outdoors so that we can recycle and reuse,” said Anna-Carin Gripwall, director of communications for Avfall Sverige, the Swedish Waste Management’s recycling association.
Sweden has implemented a cohesive national recycling policy so that even though private companies undertake most of the business of importing and burning waste, the energy goes into a national heating network to heat homes through the extremely cold winter.
“That is a key reason that we have this district network, so that we can make use of the heating from the waste plants. In the southern part of Europe, they do not make use of the heating from the waste, and, it just goes out the chimney. Here we use it as a substitute for fossil fuel,” Ms. Gripwell was quoted as saying by The Independent.