Recycling and renewable energy are big in Sweden. More than 99% of household waste was reportedly recycled last year and half of the country’s electricity and heating coming from renewable energy.
The director of communications for the Swedish Waste Management’s recycling association, Anna-Carin Gripwall was quoted as saying: “In the southern part of Europe they don’t make use of the heating from the waste, it just goes out the chimney. Here we use it as a substitute for fossil fuel.”
According to the Interesting Engineering site, the term “recycling” in Sweden also includes the burning of about 50% of waste to make heat and energy. In other countries like the United States, this is described as “transformation”.
Nevertheless, Sweden’s reported success rate even brings in 700,000 tonnes of imported waste from other countries. The import rate comes as a result from a landfill ban in EU countries. Rather than paying the fine and recycling the waste in its home countries, people simply ship it to Sweden.