BEST GLOBAL CLEANLINESS INITIATIVE WASTE TO ENERGY, SWEDEN
Sending trash to landfills is possibly the laziest and deadliest way to dispose of trash. On September 1, several hundred of tonnes of garbage stacked to the height of a 15-storey building came crashing down at the Ghazipur landfill in East Delhi, killing two people. As administrators in the NCR begin to hunt for new dumping sites, there is an important Scandinavian revolution they could take note of—today, Sweden recycles nearly 99 per cent of its household waste.
Better still, half the waste is converted into energy. Most of it is burned. From the ashes, metals are separated and recycled while non-combustible waste like porcelain and tile is sifted to be used in road construction. The one per cent that remains is deposited in rubbish dumps. The smoke from incineration plants consists of 99.9 per cent non-toxic carbon dioxide and water, but is still filtered through dry filters and water. The sludge from the dirty filter water is used to refill abandoned mines.
In 2015, nearly 2.3 million tonnes of household waste was turned into energy through burning. In 2014, Sweden even imported 2.7 million tonnes of waste from countries like the UK, Norway, Italy and Ireland to be used as fuel. In 2004, it celebrated the centenary of its first waste incineration plant. Today, it has 32—that’s a lot of waste burned for a country with a population of 10 million, less than that of the NCR.