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According to an article in a dead tree paper, Swedish municipal power and heat plants that uses mainly garbage imports a lot of British garbage. Now they have started to look elsewhere, because they don't know what rules will be in place after March. Apparently, there is no lack of garbage in Europe, so we will not need to turn down our heat (set to comfortable temperatures), but the Swedish importers expressed worry about the UK's landfills.

Probably not the most immediate concern, but add it to the list.

by fjallstrom on Sun Nov 18th, 2018 at 08:22:32 PM EST
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by Oui on Sun Nov 18th, 2018 at 08:50:40 PM EST
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I think China has been taking in waste for recycling, but not handled it very environmentally friendly (to say the least). I recently read an article about a town in China that is the center of Chinese plastic recycling and it's an environmental and health nightmare. (I can't find the link now.) So it's probably a good thing that China stops destroying their environment for what amounts to green washing.

For those concerned about Sweden's dependence on trash for energy, the plants can run on wood too, and we have huge forests. No trash would be better than burnt trash, but burnt trash is better than landfills.

by fjallstrom on Sun Nov 18th, 2018 at 11:25:43 PM EST
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Waste to energy might have its place, but incineration has some rather nasty byproducts: carbon and numerous other air pollutants, some highly toxic, but most particularly the ash, components of which require disposal as hazardous/toxic waste.  This is expensive and ultimately a future threat to water supplies.  Beyond that, my experience has been that local authorities are often motivated to reduce costs of monitoring and enforcement.
Burning wood is only minimally efficient, and then only if transport distances are short, I believe.
by Andhakari on Mon Nov 19th, 2018 at 09:44:10 AM EST
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Burning waste only looks good in comparison to some alternatives, such as landfill and burning peat in Ireland, which not only produces similar carbon emissions, but destroys natural bog lands as well. Shipping waste all the way to China can hardly be energy efficient as well. So you are looking at the least worst solution, in many cases - other than actually focusing on reducing waste itself.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 19th, 2018 at 09:51:52 AM EST
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