How Sweden turns TRASH into Energy!
Is it possible that you can power your entire home, let alone entire country with just our Garbage?! Is it also possible to recycle 99% of our solid waste while keeping it away from our landfills and convert it into electricity? Well Sweden been doing this since 1950!
Here's how Sweden turns trash into electricity.
More than 2 billion tons of trash is disposed into our landfills every year around the entire world. That's so much trash, if you were to line up all the trash in garbage trucks you could circle the earth 24 TIMES! But Sweden figured a way to make their trash work for them. By using it to fuel their W.T.E (Waste to energy) program. This program converts garbage into sustainable energy keeping 1.2 million Swedish households and electricity for another 800,000, according to Anna-Carin Gripwall, Avfall Sverige's director of communications.
Sweden has even gotten so efficient with this process that less than 1% of Swedish household waste was sent to the landfills last year or any year since 2011. So where does all the waste go? About 47% of Sweden waste is recycled. The program recycles metals, plastics, newspapers, batteries and even electronics. The remaining 52% of the countries waste like excluded scrap metal, circuit boards, and agricultural waste is used for the country W.T.E. Program producing electricity from burning waste.
But how does garbage turn into electricity? After the recyclable content has been removed the remaining trash is brought into a waste energy plant. Then from there the trash gets loaded into giant furnaces and burned which generates a large amount of steam that spins generator turbines producing electricity for the nation power grid. All leftover metals are separated and recycled while any other leftover material that do not burn like porcelain or tile are repurposed into gravel for road construction.
In 2014 alone countries such as U.K. and Italy exported 2.3 million tons of trash to Sweden W.T.E. facilities. Those factories charge about $43 per tons of trash, that means just from recycling the 2.3 million tons of trash from the other countries brought to Sweden produced a revenue of over $100 million dollars.
Day by day Sweden is getting closer to almost becoming a zero waste nation with efforts both large and small. Their Waste to Energy Program has even inspired other countries to consider it for themselves. Do you think the U.S. would benefit from this program reducing waste from our landfills and reducing the use fossil fuels? Hmmm.....