Sweden Importing Trash After Recycling 100 Percent of Its Waste

flag_of_sweden-svg220px-recycling_symbol-svgWe have discussed previously how the United States has lost the lead in environmental sciences and policy. The latest such example is Sweden, which is now importing garbage from other countries to keep its recycling plants going. Less than 1 per cent of Swedish household waste was sent to landfill since 2011 because Swedish families are so good at recycling waste.

We hit a high point last year of 34.3 percent — the rest ended up in incinerators or landfills.

Sweden imposed a heavy tax on fossil fuel in 1991 and now have an energy support that is mostly produced through renewables. Part of that renewable energy is from garbage. Its incineration centers for garbage supply 250,000 homes and heating for 950,000 homes. The problem is that the Swedes are exceptionally vigilant on recycling and produce little garbage. So other countries are sending their waste to Sweden.

Of course, incineration is the least favored approach for environmentalists in favor of actual recycling. Yet, as we have previously discussed, the status of alternative fuels and recycling in Europe shows how far behind we are as a country. Clearly, these are smaller countries with few logistical problems. However, they are also countries that put a huge priority on alternative fuels and recycling. The result is not only a greater compliance with global warming initiatives but a cleaner and healthier environment for citizens.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/sweden-s-recycling-is-so-revolutionary-the-country-has-run-out-of-rubbish-a7462976.html

33 thoughts on “Sweden Importing Trash After Recycling 100 Percent of Its Waste

  1. It sounds to me like Sweden has a misallocated resource. There are electricity-producing garbage-burning plants that they thought would continue to burn garbage throughout the expected useful lifetimes of the plants. Only the problem is they ran out of garbage. Now they have to create a work-around solution-that of importing garbage at the expense of hauling and transporting the garbage, with all of it costs, environmental and hard cash considered. Is this what we Americans are meant to call good planning?

    • They are still stuck with the plants put in by the former Socialist government. So the plants are used to make up the short fall in production. No oil fields, Most of their electrical needs are hydroelectric and nuclear and the latter is adding to it’s production as fast as they can afford it.

      Meanwhile Coal which was a bit less than 50% of the production of electricity is dropping as the other means come on line. When the one goes ‘up’ enough the garbage run can do two things, Reduce to in country garbage or switch to wood waste. enough to make up short falls.

      Socialism didn’t destroy Sweden in a day and Rome was not built in a day nor is switching to better solutions. First they had to make whole sale changes in government and redesign their economy. That’s done now they can invest in both energy production and the social programs they do have still in place. But not welfarism. That one took a bullet in the back of the neck.

  2. Time for another shameless plug for energy from thorium. Lot’s o’ pluses for it. Tell a neighbor about it. Tell an SJW about it so they can talk about something else. Make it part of the conversation so it can proliferate.

  3. They got rid of socialism and drove it out of Sweden which proves they know how to handle garbage. Next up – how to handle immigrants.

  4. Actually Sweden produces 53% of electricity via hydro and 40% via nuclear. Much of the remaining 7% is from forestry wastes and a tiny proportion from other sources of wastes.

    I had thought that lawyers fact checked, but it seems that I am mistaken.

  5. “We hit a high point last year of 34.3 percent — the rest ended up in incinerators or landfills.

    Sweden imposed a heavy tax on fossil fuel in 1991 and now have an energy support that is mostly produced through renewables. Part of that renewable energy is from garbage. Its incineration centers for garbage supply 250,000 homes and heating for 950,000 homes.”

    Am I the only one who see’s awkwardness of this statement?

    • No much of that was done when a fully socialist government was in charge and they did such a great job the Swedes voted them out then ran them out. If you ask a Swede about their great Socialist country they will look at you as if you lost your mind or are uneducated. Sweden as they hasten to explain learned their lesson. They are now a Market Capitalism Country to provide the needed income BUT have a developed social conscience. Still they limit the benefits. No retiring early on full pay and absolutely no welfarism. What they do have is not government funded but by civic and religious groups.

      They have an interesting economic tool where they are at one time a debtor nation and free of debt nation.

      This is pile of money they release, as loans when needed and pay back or add contributions to when needed to control inflation and deflation.

      The USA as some stated is far more socialist than it admits to but a lot of folks woke up last month and with the help of educated responsible citizens will find it’s way back to more suitable model – e.g. Constiutional Republic based ona foundation of democratic principles or Tier One direct vote Tier Two indirect vote. Next is quit going deeper in debt which means shit can this inflation devaluation debt repudiation cycle. Talk about putting a gun to your head spinning the cylinder with five shells loaded.

      We have one thing of value and that’s land IF property rights are restored. That means dumping income tax for the fascist cluster feather it is and replacing it with two things. End User consumption AND debt limitation of zero.

      One way is setting congressional retirement at three terms minimum to qualify and term limiting them to two terms. My tongue is not in my cheek.

      Back to energy with SW Texas adding a second huge strike and since we are now exporting WHY are we importing anything? OR why are we being asked to allow more offshore drilling when we can’t manage what we have with out major spills or pumping more from Alaska? Add this to the mix. The cleanest energy and most safely transported is electricty. Pump the oil, mine the anthracite coal, shut down the bituminous coal or process it as is done with shale oil. THEN on the same site turn it into electricty.

      Still not some for trains, planes, trucks and the family car BUT we wouldn’t need ethanol which then becomes food production again. OR ban gasoline and convert to diesel

      And weatherize the homes and buildings.

  6. The governing factor regarding renewable energy and waste management is the status quo. That developing these industries would create wealth is obvious to anyone with half a brain. However, those that would be sharing the pie with these new industries, the fossil fuel industry, packaging industry, etc would be out some of their stack. If you use the tech revolution as an example, the world did not see an efficient and less costly replacement for something else such as the auto industry for horse and buggies or wind power for coal power but an entire industry where there was next to nothing. The creation of an industry creates new wealth. New wealth is what America is lacking. America could be the world leader in renewable energy, waste management, and other areas but for the oligarchs who make up the status quo. In DDT America has ensured itself that it will remain in the rear as more forward looking nations lead the way. Japan did not take over the auto industry. The US failed. $10,000,000 wind turbines are imported from Denmark and other leaders because Americans are lost in their illusions. Time to wake up.

    • “If you use the tech revolution as an example, the world did not see an efficient and less costly replacement for something else such as the auto industry for horse and buggies or wind power for coal power but an entire industry where there was next to nothing”

      The difference is, people wanted an automobile. They don’t want costly subsidized “renewables” as evidenced by their lack of market share.

  7. Local county is contemplating (and have probably already decided) to accept incinerator ash from another county into its landfill. The ash has been shown to be loaded with several toxins. Never mind. It’s all about the money. The discussion about waste and recycling has disclosed that the bottles we “recycle” are actually crushed and dumped in a landfill. A few years ago, the county moved from citizens sorting their recyclables (glass here, paper there, metal in a separate bin) to single stream. Everything goes into one big pile that is trucked out. The point was made that they can’t make any money on paper recycling, it’s cheaper to put it in a landfill. Why bother with the charade of recycling? Why not just put it all in the landfill and be done with the middlemen? I find the attitude to be extremely myopic and self-serving.

    • It exists as a marketing tool to reach out to a target that would appreciate that kind of thing. I told my wife that I think our company does the same thing. Recyclables go out tomorrow, I am going to attempt to see if they just go in the back of the truck.

  8. The article does not make a whole lot of sense. But since it is about Sweden and trash then the aspect of white trash needs to be explored.

  9. Concepts are not limited to small or large countries. The problem with the US is denial. Americans live under the illusion that they do not live in a socialist society. America is a socialist society but its failure to recognize this limits a forward thinking approach to socialism. Instead we have an oligarchy or socialism for the top few percent. The subsidies provided to corporations are rarely limited by politicians on the right or left. But when the left or forward thinkers propose enabling the lower 90% the cries by the few seem to prevail. Now we have DDT or Deplorable Donald Trump who has wasted no time in organizing the most concentrated bunch of corporate shills ever to run the country. We will see.

    • one reason I choose to both read and respond to this out of all blogs out there is that blog attracts such a variety of people. And, Isaac, I must say I admire your tenacity as a delusional and often amusing commentator.

      re: “Now we have DDT or Deplorable Donald Trump who has wasted no time in organizing the most concentrated bunch of corporate shills ever to run the country.”
      Umm where where you when Obama chose to surround himself people from Citibank, Goldman Sachs, GE/ Monsanto, etc?

      • It would be stupid to not include the heads of all these corporations within advisory range. They are part of the system. However, Obama, nor any other previous President never placed this many at the heads of the very agencies designed to rein them in. If ever there was an example of foxes administering the chicken house, this is it. Ironically DDT ran on protecting the ‘everyman’ from these very foxes. DDT has taken out the politicians and replaced them with concentrated special interest. It makes for a formidable and efficient machine, an oligarchy with far less restraint. Kind of reminds one of Hitler’s Austrian Anschluss routine. Up until the very Catholic Austrians voted in they were promised direct involvement of their religious leadership in the running of Austria. Once the vote was in, Hitler told the Bishops to go f*ck themselves and regularly shot a few priests. Reflect upon the unrelenting lies and promises of DDT over the next year or two.

        • Demagogues have always paid a few loyalists well to support the dictatorship. But today the entire world will enjoy seeing the world’s only super-power hoist on its own petard.

    • Issac, I admire your tenacity as one of the most rational, clear-headed commenters on this blog. One of the few reasons I still read the comments.

  10. I absolutely support this. Everything should be recyclable as much as possible. Our oceans are a mess, I think we can all agree that trash should not be dumped at sea and that we should recycle as much as possible

  11. Thank you for this Professor Turley….such stories have to be told..although it seems it has no voice in today’s Washington– as we have a climate denier at the EPA and we have another potential nominee at the Energy Department that likes Fracking….&now, an Oilman (and yes although a good businessman and has done good by his company & his shareholders) as apparently nominee for Sec. of State….:( 😦

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