When you pull your trash to the curb, do you ever wonder what happens to it after it gets taken away? While some trash can be incinerated, most of it is hauled to the nearest garbage dump, or landfill. Basically, it’s thrown into a massive hole in the ground, along with everybody else’s trash.
So, what would happen if there was a way to take all of this trash and use it to make energy? Well, there actually is a way, and Sweden knows it. In fact, the folks in Sweden have become so good at both recycling and using trash to make energy that they have to import trash from Norway.
According to the Mother Nature Network, Sweden is shipping in about 80,000 tons of waste per year. Their waste-to-energy incineration program provides electricity and heat to thousands of homes by incinerating trash. In fact, 20% of Sweden’s heat supply is created by incinerating trash, and 250,000 homes are provided with electricity.
Of course, there is at least one negative to the whole process – the polluted ash that’s created must be landfilled. However, as you can imagine, this ash takes up much less space than the garbage would have.
According to Wired.co.uk, Sweden has been incinerating trash since the ’40s. Since then, the country has made great strides in making the process greener and reducing incineration emissions. Although the process creates harmful substances like dioxin in the ash and gasses, the process now largely cleans out those toxins.
Image Credit: Laijnloo