Location: Campus Valla, A Building, Entrance 19
Display of district heating connection at Campus Valla, A Building, Entrance 19. Photo credit Magnus JohanssonAll consumption produces waste, and energy recovery is one way of recycling waste. Using waste as fuel in a combined heat and power plant provides recovered energy to heat our buildings and supply our electricity. This is a clever way to use the Earth’s resources carefully.
Isn’t it a better idea to sort the waste at source?
The waste that is burned is truly rubbish. It is waste that it is no longer possible to recycle or from which it is no longer possible to reuse the materials. It may be waste that for some other reason has not been sorted. Different materials can be recycled different numbers of times, and when a material can no longer be recycled, the best alternative is to use it as an energy source, rather than depositing it in a landfill site.
Statistics show, furthermore, that countries in which energy recovery is highly developed also have advanced systems for recycling material.
Why do we import waste?
We are good at recycling waste in Sweden, and less than 1% is deposited into landfill sites (rubbish dumps). Some countries have not come as far as we have, and they can purchase our environmental services when we have the necessary capacity. In this way, we contribute not only to reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill sites but also the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from these sites.
Furthermore, in Sweden we create waste in other countries without even noticing it. When we purchase items from other countries, it causes waste production and emissions where the items are manufactured. So maybe we have a responsibility to improve the global situation.