Sweden is a country with an especially good national recycling program and broad public participation. It is so good that only 4 percent of household waste goes into landfills. Sweden also has a lot of district heating plants, which produce electricity and hot water that is distributed for heating to nearby homes and businesses. Many of these plants rely on trash incineration to generate the heat to run the systems. Trash incinceration provides 20 percent of the district heating in Sweden. These plants also generate the electricity for 250,000 homes.
The problem is that Swedish power plants need more trash to feed these plants than the country is producing, so the country is looking to import trash from its European neighbors to fuel these plants. At present, they are importing waste from neighboring Norway to fuel these plants.
Getting rid of trash and producing energy may seem like a win-win, but trash incineration plants have serious downsides. They produce large amounts of dioxins which can be released into the atmosphere. There are also toxins and heavy metals in the ash that remains after the material is burned, and that needs to be disposed of carefully.
Fortunately, the Swedes realize the limitations in trash burning. "This is not a long-term solution really, because we need to be better to reuse and recycle, but in the short perspective I think it’s quite a good solution," Ostlund concluded.
via: Living on Earth
written by Brian Cartwright, September 18, 2012
written by yesillink, September 19, 2012
written by Ecosystem, September 21, 2012
|< Prev||Next >|