York Residents Against Incineration

Sweden now importing rubbish!

November 30th, 2012

Yes – Sweden is now importing 800,000 tonnes of rubbish from Norway per year to feed its army of incinerators.

Sweden’s been big on incineration since the 40s, before we knew any better. So now that the recycling game’s caught up with them, they’re finding themselves short on rubbish to burn. But their incinerators are wired up to district heating systems, rather than just helping PFI contractors make a bit of money from selling electricity, so they need to keep them running. 20% of Sweden’s domestic heating comes from incineration. And as we probably don’t need to tell you: it gets cold in Sweden.

The rather ingenious part of the deal is that Norway gets the ash back to dispose of – toxic heavy metals and all!

This situation is, of course, exactly what we’ve been predicting will happen in the UK in the next ten years or so. Sweden outlawed the landfilling of organic waste in 2005 – a move which is now mooted EU-wide, except that the latest plan is to phase out incinerating it too. We put this to Ian Fielding in our last letter – his response was (I paraphrase) “probly won’t happen”.

Sweden was ahead of the curve, but we’re catching up fast! In ten years time will we see Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany competing to buy waste from the Balkan and Baltic states?

Read more via Wired or Public Radio International.

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