Top 10 countries converting waste into wealth

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The following is a list of countries which are doing great work in converting waste to wealth. This detailed list has not been organized in any special order. Not ascending or descending. ‘

Waste management has been a sector for scavengers and scrap merchants. The problem of landfills we witness is Kenya may have been inherited from the colonial masters of the year yonder.

Britain had 4,077 registered landfills in the 1990s. This was the resting place for 90% of all unrecycled waste in the country.

Waste is now turning into a powerful economic sector.   

In German 1 million residents signed a petition against incinerators.

In the United Kingdom, epidemiological studies found abnormal rates for people living near incinerator and later at Derbyshire near landfills.

We hope you will get inspired to swing into action and start recycling waste. 

  1. Sweden 

Sweden recycles nearly all its waste and converts it to energy and electricity. 

Electronics such as computers, DVD players among others are repaired and given to others for reuse.

In Sweden Waste is properly sorted to facilitate recycling. Each Swede has a role to play in making recycling possible. 

Anything which cannot be recycled is transported to the power generation plants. 

It’s surprising that Sweden does not have enough waste for recycling. Hence, 10 percent of the waste recycled in Sweden in imported. Most of the waste is imported from the UK. 

Waste exporting countries paid Sweden 36 Euros per tonne making it possible for Sweden to generate more that 50 million Euros in 2016. 

In Sweden waste is seen as a community that can be bought and sold. Waste is considered to be a great source of energy. 

Sweden has no land fill sites. Hence Sweden’s recycling rate is approximately 100 percent. 

Sweden has invested heavily on recycling plants. 

  1. Singapore

 The Singapore government has focused on waste recycling. In 2016, CNBC reported that the Singaporean government has done her part, only citizens were to match up the effort by increasing recycling waste at the household level.

All public estates on the Island have shared recycle bins. Garbage is collected from private properties on a weekly basis.

There is a very efficient government in Singapore but awareness needs to be done to ensure the citizens play their role.

  1. San Francisco – United States of America

The state passed a law requiring everyone to sort their waste into recyclable, compost or 

Recology is the company which handles recycling in San Francisco. 
San Francisco has diverted over 80% of its waste from landfills or incinerators. 

Leaders from around the globe visit the Recology waste recycling plants to learn how they can do the same in their part of the world. 

Many governments, cities and towns burn waste instead of composting and recycling. 

Compost produced by Recology is sold to local organic farmers. 

  1. Germany

According to World Economic Forum, Germany is a global leader in waste recycling. Top countries in waste management have one thing in common: good policies.

They make is easy for households to recycle their waste and better still the citizens have embraced recycling. According to statista.com, Germany’s recycling rate was 67.6% in 2017.

  1. Austria

Austria is one of the champions in waste recycling and composting in the European Union. The process for sustainable environment waste management was started in early 1990s. The reason why waste management grew quickly is because certain types of waste was not not allowed on the landfills.

Austria has been maintaining accurate data and information on various streams of waste generated and recycled. Both those who waste and treat waste are required to keep electronic records of the waste that they handle.

Secondly, there is a lot of public awareness conducted to motivate various actors to collect and dispose their waste in a recommended way.

Austria has made a lot of milestones considering that a lot of food waste going to the landfills was reduced through putting in place penalties in form of landfill taxes to discourage having a lot of food remains to throw away.

It is estimated that 56% of total waste is recycled or composted in Austria.    

  1. South Korea

According to WorldAtlas.com, South Korea invested 2% of her Gross Domestic Product on Green Growth Program. This is how South Korea has been able to recycle or compost 59% of her waste.  In this country waste producers are required to pay per volume of waste produced. This has led to less waste being produced.

  1. Switzerland

In Switzerland, the principle which governs waste management is called “polluter pays principle.” This has led to at least 52.7% of the total waste being recycled.

FERRO-Recycling, Igora, Inobat and Pet are some of the leading recycling companies in Switzerland.

On 1 Jan 2000, landfills were banned in Switzerland which lead to incineration of all waste which cannot be recycled or made into compost manure.  

Illegal or inappropriate dumping of waste attracts heavy fines in Switzerland. In Switzerland, it is a serious offense to mix waste. For instance, you cannot throw away bottles in thrash bags. There are heavy fines and sometimes prison time.

  1. Italy

According to data provided by Eurostat, at least 76.9% of all waste produced in Italy is recycled or made into compost manure. It is mandatory to sort household waste in Italy. Garbage tax is charged and used in the recycling process.

  1. Belgium

Belgium was the champion country in waste recycling in 2013. In that year, only 197 kilograms of waste per person was sent to the landfills.

In Belgium, was is sorted and collected according to type. It is estimate that 53.4% of all waste in Belgium is either recycled or made into compost manure.

This is in line with the goals and objectives of European Union which calls for reusing 50% of all household waste by all EU member states by 2020.

  1. Slovenia

Slovania recycles 58% of her municipal waste. In Europe, Slovania is reported to have made the most improvement when it comes to waste management. Slovania has a program called “Zero Waste Initiative” in place.

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Editor-in-Chief

Geoffrey Kerosi is a prolific Kenyan writer based in Nairobi City. He holds a Bachelors in Economics and Statistics and is currently pursuing Masters in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) from Kenyatta University. Email: info@kerosi.com. Whatsapp: +254713 639 776 YouTube: Kerosi TV

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