Recycling is an essential part of looking after the planet and the economy in general, and having examples of where it has been done well is very useful. For those thinking about how they can improve their own recycling, or even lobby their local and national government to change policies on recycling, looking at how the best recyclers in the world do it can be incredibly useful.
Most people who’ve looked into this like we have would probably tell you that Sweden is the best in the world, but to simplify this for you, we’ll take a look at what sets Sweden’s system apart from others.
First of all, Sweden stands supreme on how much of what they consume ends up being recycled, as a percentage of total consumption. They have been able to ensure that only 1 percent of total waste ends up in landfills, with a massive 36 percent recycled, 14 percent composted, and 49 percent incinerated. While this is great news and something for other countries to aspire towards, it is clear that there is still room for improvement. For instance, while 36 percent of waste being recycled is a good thing, 49 percent being incinerated is arguably not.
While this incineration isn’t strictly a good thing, they have ensured that, at the very least, the heat generated by the process is turned into energy to power homes in the area. Sweden is currently powering 260,000 homes through the energy produced by burning trash.