In Sweden they have achieved what seems impossible in most countries (developed, emerging or whatever): to put an end to their garbage through the WTE system.
Waste-To-Energy means going from “waste to energy” and it is precisely the method that allows the waste generated by the citizens instead of becoming a headache, to be an efficient and renewable energy solution.
This method was adopted in principle, in order to stop the landfills from being a source of pollution due to methane and other gases that were poisoning the Swedish environment, so at the government level they made the decision to end them radical way.
But the problem that arose was what to do with the garbage; if it was burned, the environment was simply polluted as well and the whole process was a waste of money and resources, so it was decided that it was best to use it as biomass and make a profit instead of investing in getting rid of it.
On the other hand and according to the law, Swedish companies must be responsible for the waste generated by their products, so for example each beverage factory has to take care of collecting their containers (cans, bottles or plastic and glass bottles), by the method you consider most convenient.
An average European generates around 500 kilos of garbage per year, the Swedish citizen is at 461 kg, which means they throw away less. But a minimum of two billion tons is needed to cover the needs of the 32 WTE factories that supply energy to a large part of the country, which is why the Swedes are currently buying “foreign garbage” from countries like Norway, UK and Germany.
In addition to producing energy with waste, a series of simple and easy-to-apply measures have been taken that have made people aware of the issue and collaborate.
43% of Swedes make sure that the remains of medicines that they will not need, if they are in good condition and without expiration, go to people who require them or, otherwise, they are recycled safely. They never throw a bottle of pills in the trash.
Used clothes x discounts
The famous Swedish clothing brand H&M last year carried out a worldwide campaign, in which it urged people to donate used clothing by delivering it to their stores. The store gave customers a discount in exchange for their generosity and the garments were recycled into eco-friendly clothing.
Bottles x hamburgers
The Swede usually deposit cans and bottles in the corresponding containers, in fact they return one and a half billion cans and bottles every year. But the McDonald hamburger chain decided to "change" cans for food. According to the number of cans returned, it was the type of hamburger that could be chosen, from a common to a Big Mac.
Recycle with music
In Helsingborg, a small coastal town in southern Sweden, they had the pleasant idea of exchanging garbage for music. The containers play the chosen melody when the waste is thrown away.
In Sweden, it is unthinkable for a passerby to throw a cigarette butt on the ground. Each person throws the garbage where it belongs Always and at home they take care of carefully separating it before depositing it in the containers, as a way of helping not to contaminate. When it comes to disposing of furniture or computers, they take them to special recycling centers for each item.
“Green” trash cans
Renova, a company that collects waste, has since 2010 garbage trucks that run on biogas or biodiesel, which in addition to being less polluting, are also less noisy, so the driver is more focused on traffic and the costs have been reduced. accidents
Artists of the Environment Pantamera is an association that advocates and supports recycling and often encourages new singers and "consecrated" singers to appear on TV and through their songs encourage citizens to return used packaging.
Swedes are convinced of doing the right thing, out of education and philosophy of life. They tend to buy organic products, check the contents and seals, recycle and reuse everything they can, return cans and bottles as a personal contribution to environmental balance, they do not litter their cities; in short, they are really responsible consumers and a good example to take into account.