HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Sweden Must Import Trash ...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 04:11 AM

Sweden Must Import Trash For Energy Conversion Because Its Recycling Program Is So Successful

Because it has become so good at recycling, Sweden now is importing 800,000 tons of trash each year from other European countries, including Norway, to power its waste-to-energy program, Public Radio International reports. Burned waste powers 20 percent of Sweden's district heating as well as electricity for roughly 250,000 Swedish homes.


In contrast, Americans recycled just 34 percent of their waste in 2010, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and more than half of U.S. household waste in 2010 ended up in landfills, 136 million tons of garbage in total.


I think if the US starting selling our trash to countries with waste to energy programs, we would probably make hundreds of billions of dollars per year. No more deficit!

*Forgot the link*
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/sweden-imports-trash_n_1876746.html

20 replies, 2987 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sweden Must Import Trash For Energy Conversion Because Its Recycling Program Is So Successful (Original post)
SilveryMoon Sep 2012 OP
JesterCS Sep 2012 #1
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #2
littlemissmartypants Sep 2012 #3
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #4
.99center Sep 2012 #8
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #10
littlemissmartypants Sep 2012 #9
Mariana Sep 2012 #19
piratefish08 Sep 2012 #11
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #12
.99center Sep 2012 #14
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #17
piratefish08 Sep 2012 #16
pampango Sep 2012 #15
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #18
Quantess Sep 2012 #5
SilveryMoon Sep 2012 #6
Fridays Child Sep 2012 #7
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #13
TVDS Oct 2013 #20

Response to SilveryMoon (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 04:26 AM

1. sounds like a good idea to me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SilveryMoon (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 04:30 AM

2. why don't they just stop recycling so much? they have a garbage deficit, so they need to import it?

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #2)


Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 04:52 AM

4. if you're importing someone *else's* garbage, where's the efficiency?

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 06:09 AM

8. If everything was about efficiency

With Sweden they wouldn't be investing so much on green energy. Maybe they realize that reducing trash in other country's is good for everyone on this planet, including Sweden.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to .99center (Reply #8)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 06:39 AM

10. is it energy efficient to ship garbage around the continent so you can turn it into energy?

 

somehow i doubt that calculus will balance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #4)


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 07:38 AM

19. It may be cheaper for the neighbouring countries

to send trainloads of garbage to Sweden than it would be to make and run additional landfills and/or incinerators.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #2)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 06:50 AM

11. perhaps they make decisions based on the earth, and not their own borders.....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to piratefish08 (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 06:53 AM

12. "based on the earth"? what does that even mean?

 

it takes fuel to ship truckloads (800,000 tons) of garbage around the continent. what kind of stupid ecology is that?

sweden is up in the northern reaches of europe, you're saying they just import their garbage from finland and norway or something?

i doubt it, since finland and norway probably have something similar.

i'll bet they import it from the eastern bloc countries. cheaper garbage, less recycling.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 07:11 AM

14. Not trying to be rude

I think you skimmed over the article a bit to quick "Because it has become so good at recycling, Sweden now is importing 800,000 tons of trash each year from other European countries, including Norway, to power its waste-to-energy program, Public Radio International reports. Burned waste powers 20 percent of Sweden's district heating as well as electricity for roughly 250,000 Swedish homes."

From the link at huffpo it go's on to say "Sweden has recently begun to import about eight hundred thousand tons of trash from the rest of Europe per year to use in its power plants. The majority of the imported waste comes from neighboring Norway because it’s more expensive to burn the trash there and cheaper for the Norwegians to simply export their waste to Sweden.http://www.pri.org/stories/science/environment/swedes-import-trash-to-power-the-nation-10428.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to .99center (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 07:17 AM

17. my comments were somewhat tongue in cheek. however, it still seems stupid to import wood

 

pulp and plastic so you can burn it. 800,000 tons, 1 ton for every 12 people in sweden.

i also doubt they do this 'because their recycling program is so successful'.

it's because its cheaper than oil.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 07:17 AM

16. I should have said they are making decisions while thinking beyond their own borders.

"you're saying they just import their garbage from finland and norway or something?"



Yes, that's exactly what they say in the very first sentence of the article you obviously decided to not read before commenting.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to piratefish08 (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 07:13 AM

15. True. Not only do Swedes not add to landfills, they reduce the size of Norway's landfills.

Good for the earth, not just that part of the earth located within lines on a piece of paper.

Swedish households recycle most of their waste; only 4 percent of it ends up in landfills, according to PRI. Sweden makes it mandatory for households to separate recyclables from trash, and producers help handle waste management.

In contrast, Americans recycled just 34 percent of their waste in 2010, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and more than half of U.S. household waste in 2010 ended up in landfills, 136 million tons of garbage in total.

In just one example of U.S. waste, Americans throw away nearly half of their food, costing roughly $165 billion per year, according to a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council.


Swedes recycle 96% of their waste, Americans 34%. Quite a disparity.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pampango (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 07:22 AM

18. norway, germany, denmark, netherlands, and other landfills as well. they're not importing foodwaste

 

they're importing wood pulp, paper and plastic. then they burn it.

The soviets used the same system: district heating.

In many cases large combined heat and power district heating schemes are owned by a single entity. This was typically the case in the old Eastern bloc countries. However the majority of schemes the ownership of the cogeneration plant is separate from the heat using part.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_heating

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SilveryMoon (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 05:12 AM

5. Link?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Quantess (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 05:23 AM

6. I edited the OP to include the link.

Totally forgot to include it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SilveryMoon (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 05:53 AM

7. k/r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SilveryMoon (Original post)

Thu Sep 13, 2012, 07:00 AM

13. The 'waste' = wood, paper a/o plastics. They burn it after they truck it in.

 

It's about cost structure, not 'the earth'.


Between 1996 and 2002, the Swedish import of so-called yellow waste for energy recovery increased. The import mainly consisted of separated wood waste and mixes of used wood and paper and/or plastics that was combusted in district heat production plants (DHPPs). Some mixed waste was imported to waste incineration plants for energy recovery (10% of the import of yellow waste for energy recovery in 2002). The import came primarily from Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Finland. We identified six underlying driving forces for this recent increase of imported waste which are outlined and their interactive issues discussed.

• The energy system infrastructure, which enables high energy recovery in Sweden.

• The energy taxation, where high Swedish taxes on fossil fuels make relatively expensive solid biofuels the main alternative for base load production of district heat.

• The quality of the waste-derived fuels, which has been higher in the exporting countries than in Sweden.

• The bans on landfilling within Europe and the shortage of waste treatment capacity.

• Taxes on waste management in Europe.

• Gate fee differences between exporting countries and Sweden.

In the future, the overall strength of these driving forces will probably be weakened. A Swedish tax on waste incineration is being investigated. In other European countries, the ambition to reach the Kyoto targets and increase the renewable electricity production could improve the competitiveness of waste-derived fuels in comparison with fossil fuels. Swedish DHPPs using waste-derived fuels will experience higher costs after the Waste Incineration Directive is fully implemented. The uncertainty about European waste generation and treatment capacity, however, might have a large influence on the future gate fees and thus also on the yellow waste import into Sweden.

http://wmr.sagepub.com/content/23/1/3.abstract

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SilveryMoon (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2013, 01:58 PM

20. Rrecycling factories

Does anyone know what are the biggest recycling factories in Sweden?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread