As other nations throughout the world struggle to cut the amount of waste piling up in their landfills and marring the landscape, Sweden is facing an entirely different sort of challenge — they’ve run out of trash. Now they’re forced to import some more.
Swedes, you see, are among the planet’s least wasteful people, on average recycling around 96 percent of the garbage they produce. And with what’s left, they’ve found a way to use, having implemented a world-class waste-to-energy incineration program capable of providing electricity sufficient to power hundreds of thousands of homes.
But their hyper-efficiency has led to a unique problem: a trash shortage that could threaten the energy production capacity.
So, what is Sweden to do? Well, according to Swedish officials, the notoriously tidy nation will begin importing garbage from their neighbor Norway — about 80,000 tons of it annually, in fact, to fulfill their energy needs.
Perhaps the best part of all is that, in solving their problem, Swedes actually stand to profit from this endeavor; the Norwegians are going to pay them to take their waste, proving quite succinctly that one nation’s trash can truly be another’s treasure trove.