THE SWEDISH RECYCLING REVOLUTION

Recently a friend asked me if this article about Swedish recycling program was true. Yes! That is true.

I was in Stockholm just recently and as I do travel to Stockholm often, I thought I could offer my endorsement to Swedish recycling efforts.

I should also add that the following is true for Sweden as well as for all of Europe:
European households keep separate their newspapers, plastic, metal, glass, electric appliances, light bulbs and batteries.

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Newspapers are turned into paper mass, bottles are reused or melted into new items, plastic containers become plastic raw material; food is composted and becomes soil or biogas through a complex chemical process. Rubbish trucks are often run on recycled electricity or biogas. Wasted water is purified to the extent of being potable. Special rubbish trucks go around cities and pick up electronics and hazardous waste such as chemicals. Pharmacists accept leftover medicine (in Italy there are recycling cans just for batteries and expired drugs). Europeans take their larger waste, such as a used TV or broken furniture, to recycling centres on the outskirts of the cities.

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However, yes, Sweden is ahead of the game. I visited the neighborhood of Hjorthagen, in Stockholm, and the recycling system was quite a state of the art.

To open the bins residents use the same key as they open the front door of their buildings.

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As the trash is dropped into the bins it gets pulled immediately to the recycling center and processed immediately. The bins are color-coded: white for organic waste, blue for plastic, yellow for paper, green for glass (those colors are the same all over Europe).

I also loved these neighborhoods shared vegetable gardens; anyone can plant vegetables for everybody’s consumption.

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There is a lot to learn from Sweden, but what is there more cute than these babies doing their civic duty?

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Kindergarten children are collecting the trash left over by the adults in the parks!

To learn more here is an interesting article about recycling in Sweden.

USA you are far behind the game.

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