Everyone produces waste, and the Swedes are no different. It’s what they do with it that is unusual. Sweden recycles and sorts its waste so efficiently that less than 1 percent ends up in landfills. But perhaps even more interesting, and somewhat controversial, is that Sweden burns about as much household waste as it recycles, over 2 million tons, and converts this to energy.
But even with this amount of domestic waste, the country’s 32 waste-to energy (WTE) incineration plants can handle even more, and when Sweden runs out of its own garbage, it offers a service to the rest of garbage-bloated Europe: importing excess waste from other countries.