Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Zero Waste Swedish Style

Sweden Runs Out of Garbage(Eco-waste, Sep. 18, 2013)  

Also discussed here: Towards a greener future with Swedish Waste -to-energy - The world’s best example(28 page pdf, Avfall Sverige, 2013) swdish waste
Today we review a report on the Swedish approach to waste management using modern incineration, an approach that has few rivals world-wide in terms of energy recovery and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 76% from 1990 to 2020. Only 4% of waste (no organic by law) is sent to landfills. Waste incineration expected to grow world-wide by 4% per year from 200 million tons in 2007.  

Key Quotes:  

Each Swede produces just over 500 kg or half a ton of household waste every year….. just under 50 per cent of household waste is material recycled; a slightly smaller proportion goes to waste to energy. Only four per cent of household waste is sent to landfills.”

 “The waste sector reduced emissions of greenhouse gases by 34 per cent during the years 1990-2006.…. emissions will fall by 76 per cent during the years 1990-2020….the total emissions of dioxins from all of the country’s waste incineration plants have fallen from around 100 g to less than 1 gram during the same period.”

“Waste incineration in Sweden produced as much energy in 2007 as 1.1 million m³ of oil, which reduces CO2 emissions by 2.2 million tons per year, as much as 680,000 petrol-powered cars emit in a year.”

“Waste incineration provides heat corresponding to the needs of 810,000 homes, around 20 per cent of all the district-heating produced. It also provides electricity corresponding to the needs of almost 250,000 homes”

“During waste incineration, residues form as slag, also called bottom ash,…. The average in Swedish is around 15 per cent by weight of slag and just under 5 per cent by weight of flue gas residue…Through screening and storage, a fraction known as slag gravel is recovered…can be used instead of natural gravel for constructing roads and car parks,”

“The Scandinavian nation of more than 9.5 million citizens has run out of garbage… Sweden now has to search for rubbish outside of its borders to generate its waste-to-energy incineration program…Norway pays Sweden to take its excess waste, Sweden burns it for heat and electricity, and the ashes remaining from the incineration process, filled with highly polluting dioxins, are returned back to Norway and land filled.”

“around 50 million tons of waste are processed through incineration every year throughout Europe. This corresponds to the heat requirements for the populations of Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”

“Forecasts show that waste incineration with energy recovery will increase dramatically throughout the world over the next few years, from 200 million tons per year in 2007 to around 240 million tons in 2012.”
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