Science Buzz

99% recycling — that’s the Swedish way!

Sweden recycling process

Less than 1 per cent of Sweden’s household waste winds up in a landfill. Roughly half the nation’s waste is recycled. Of the 4.4 million tons of household waste the nation produces each year, 2.2 million tons are converted into energy through an incineration process called waste-to-energy or WTE. The 32 WTE plants in Sweden today produce heat for 810,000 households and electricity for 250,000 private houses. Swedish Waste Management says: “When waste sits in landfills leaking methane and other greenhouse gases, it is obviously not good for the environment. WTE is a smart alternative, with less environmental impact, taking into account both by-products of incineration and emissions from transport. Plus, recovering energy from waste exploits a resource that would otherwise be wasted.”