Due to Sweden’s innovative waste-to-energy program and highly efficient recycling habits, the Scandinavian nation faces an interesting dilemma. They have run out of trash.
Only four percent of Sweden’s waste ends up in landfills while the EPA reports 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.
Countries are paying Sweden to get rid of a source of fuel they themselves produced so that Sweden can continue to have the energy output they need. You don’t have to be an economist to know that’s one highly enviable energy model. Aside from the economic benefit, Sweden’s system of sustainability clearly has vast environmental benefits. Aside from traditional recycling programs, their waste-to-energy system ensures minimal environmental impact from the country’s waste.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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