Sweden recycles 99% of its waste

In Sweden, 99% of 461 kg of waste produced annually per capita in the country is recycled. That mark is the result of several policies involving public awareness as well as the accountability of companies for the cost of recycling the packaging in which market their products, similar to the Reverse Logistics which is being implemented in Brazil.

The Swedish waste management program is based on the reduction, reuse, recycling, alternatives to recycling and waste deposit in landfills. Because they are responsible for the packaging they produce, companies tend to collaborate with the reduction initiative. In the background, the organic waste is often used in composting, while materials like plastic and aluminum are often recycled.

The main strategy of the Swedes to increase the number of recycling to 99%, was the creation of the plants Waste to Energy, or WTE. Basically, these plants use incineration technology in a controlled environment to generate power from steam produced – 3 tons of waste contains as much energy as one ton of oil. To move its 32 WTE plants, Sweden comes to buy waste from neighboring countries.

Photo: The Sweden Recycling Revolution