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Sweden's trash problem has become a growing issue. The country who is populated by over 9.5 million people has implemented a policy where they burn trash and convert it into energy to heat and provide energy to thousands of homes. "Today, only 1 percent of Sweden’s waste winds up in landfills. Half of it is recycled and 49 percent is burned in waste-to-energy facilities, up from 39 percent in 1999." The country has done so well in terms of recycling and converting their garbage into energy that they have become so reliant on this form of energy conversion that they have had to import trash from neighboring countries to fuel their waste-to-energy needs; Sweden imports over 700,000 tons of waste a year. "Sweden is clearly the world leader in terms of recovering energy from waste. Each year its two million tonnes of rubbish, along with extra imports, are almost completely recycled, with only 4% of all waste going into landfill. This remarkable ability should act as an example to other countries that produce massive amounts of waste, most of which they send to be buried in bursting landfills. Sweden’s model truly offers a route to sustainable living."
How it works
Waste-to-engery also known as energy-from-waste creates energy by burning all of their trash, and from there they are able to harbor the energy in the forms of either electricity or heat. The process of collecting energy by incineration combusts the organic substances that are contained within garbage, then turning the garbage into ash and heat.
But is it really eco-friendly?
There has been a lot of controversy when it comes to weather or not Sweden's waste-to-energy system is actually eco-friendly, because they have to import tons and tons of waste just to sufficiently provide energy and heat for the country.
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