Nicholas Newman
Contact journalist

Where there is muck there is money!

Oxford, United Kingdom Science & Environment February 21 @ 10:35am

Today, recycling is big business, for instance, countries like Britain and Sweden trade in it. For instance plastic waste containing (laundry detergent, shampoo bottles) could earn a processor a profit of $250 per ton, and with aluminum some $1,325 per ton in profit.

The fact is Sweden is so good at recycling its waste it has to import rubbish from neighbouring countries to keep its recycling plants operation. Apart from incineration, operators are making efforts to recycle waste. For instance, waste paper can be reprocessed 5 times before it becomes unusable. In addition, much of the aluminum used in drinks cans has been recycled many times. Often many such plants play a vital role in generating energy for power networks and district heating schemes. In addition, it is common practice for things like furniture, gadgets etc to be repaired, shared and reused.

In contrast, in Britain, the UK is recycling about 45 percent of its rubbish, the rest mainly goes to export to countries like Sweden to avoid the UK’s landfill tax.

This feature looks at why Sweden is so good at recycling, and the UK so far behind. Also, examine the economics of recycling, together with what lessons the UK and other countries can learn from Sweden. Together examine some of the future trends in recycling.
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