Sweden’s waste management scientists have recently announced that they are able to recycle nearly 100% of their waste. How are they accomplishing such an amazing feat that could possible dictate the future of renewable resources worldwide? Basically, anything that they aren’t recycling is being burnt and converted into energy for households and businesses to utilize. Burning their trash is somewhat of a controversial topic at the moment and is being researched as to whether burning the waste is a benefit to the environment compared to sending it all to a landfill to sit forever and leech toxins into the ground.

Sweden has 32 facilities known as “Waste-To-Energy” plants (shortened to WTE) which has proven to be more than enough for all of their domestic waste for the entire country. Since they have proven these plants are so efficient at getting rid of waste and turning it into energy, they are offering to let other European countries export their garbage off to them to keep the energy production up. That’s a pretty amazing feat; their entire country’s waste is being turned into a usable resource so quickly and efficiently that they are solving other country’s waste management issues by taking it off their hands. It’s a win-win situation for Sweden and neighboring countries.

The results of the environmental impact of burning over 2,000,000 tonnes of waste annually has yet to be fully revealed as of yet because this process is fairly new on the large-scale operation that Sweden is using currently. Incinerating anything at all releases toxins into the air which could have a negative impact on the environment and the O-zone even in small batches, yet Sweden is doing roughly two million tonnes a year. The aspect of this process being scrutinized is whether burning heaps of garbage is a) more efficient and b) less harmful than burning other resources commonly used in the rest of the world such as coal and oil. Will these WTE plants end up polluting the environment and the very air the Swedish residents breathe, turning it into the next Hong Kong? Time will tell, and the whole world is watching and waiting for the next big breakthrough in energy production that avoids fossil fuels.


Here is a link to the original article detailing Sweden’s waste management system: .