Sweden represents an example at recycling, the country has run out of rubbish and started importing it from other European countries. Less than 1 % of household waste was landfilled on the past 7 years, the majority of which was burned for energy production at incineration plants. Large part of energy produced from burning waste goes to the national heating network to heat homes, while in South Europe large part of heating goes out the chimney due to a lack of district heating or cooling system. An important factor of a successful national recycling policy consists on a good public awareness on environmental issues. Swedish citizens are always more involved on issues regarding environmental protection and circular economy. Most of citizens separate recyclable waste on their homes before depositing it in containers or recycling stations. Municipalities on the other hand invest money on innovative waste collection techniques, like automated vacuum systems in residential blocks, removing the need for collection transport, and underground container systems that free up road space and get rid of any smells. Recycling stations are no more than 300 metres from any residential area.
Avfall Sverige has created several campaigns such as Miljönär-vänlig winner of ISWA Communication Award 2018. The campaign aims at educating citizens on recycling or reusing products rather than burning for energy production. In particular, the campaign intends to switch people behaviour towards a circular economy approach where citizens acquire products from second hand shops, define better the quantity of food needed in order to avoid creating waste and promote a sustainable consumption of our resources.
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