124 Countrywide Recycling

Holy Crap Accomplishment: Swedish Recycling

  • Sweden recycles an astounding 99 percent of locally-produced waste, thanks to the sensitiveness of its citizens to the environment and sophisticated collection techniques.
  • recycled waste by households has increased from 38 percent in 1975 to at least 99 percent today.
  • 2001 rubbish landfilled = 22%, today 1%
  • Sweden now importing waste
  • Household waste 2017
    • 5 percent was used for biological recycling,
    • 8 percent for material recycling
    • 2 percent went to energy recovery.
  • Landfills are a major contributor to global emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, and burning waste is kinder to the environment, experts say.
  • Alternative energy:
  • The recycling process does not end at the burning stage. The remaining ashes constitute 15 percent of the waste volume before burning. Metals in these ashes are recycled again, with the rest used in road construction. Just one percent remains and is deposited in dumps.
  • 49% of household waste is recycled, and roughly 50 percent of garbage is incinerated - Heat is transformed into steam that spins turbines to generate electricity much like conventional power plants that burn coal or gas.
  • Instead of burning coal or gas, this power plant burns trash.
    • Energy from trash equals the heating demand of 1.25 million apartments and electricity for 680,000 homes, according to Avfall Sverige.
    • Produces methane biogas from 100,000 tons of food and organic waste each year. This biogas runs more than 200 city buses in the county, as well as fleets of garbage collection trucks, and some taxis and private cars, they report.
    • Four tons of garbage contains energy equivalent to one ton of oil, 1.6 tons of coal, or five tons of wood waste
    • Burning the waste is filtered through dry filters and water. And the dry filters are used to refill abandoned mines.
    • Not perfect but much better than current alternatives
  • Pipelines under roads that vacuum garbage which is sent by households to the stations.
  • Public service announcements, with prominent musicians, encourage recycling
  • food is used for creating biogas, while glass bottles are reused or melting to produce new glass container. Plastic materials are converted into their raw state and special rubbish trucks collect dangerous chemicals and electric waste, such as broken or old furniture and televisions.
  • Critics claim not Zero Waste due to CO2 emission

Holy Crap Thinking:

  • Sometimes you can’t make it perfect but you can make it much better
  • Energy in Waste
  • Use laws but also persuasion – different from Japan

Holy Crap Quote:

“We don’t look at it as waste, we use the energy content of waste as much as possible.”

Klas Gustafsson, vice president of the company.

Holy Crap Challenge:

Think Bigger: Look for energy in what you consider waste

Reach Higher: Don’t demand perfect – take the next step even if it’s not perfect

Do the Impossible: Collaborate to raise community standards to world class

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