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!