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While other countries struggle to recycle their waste, Sweden has run out of garbage
When it comes to recycling garbage, no country comes in the same vicinity as Sweden. The Scandinavian nation has such a sophisticated recycling system that just 1 per cent of the country's household waste made it to the landfill last year.

In fact, Sweden has been compelled to import garbage from other countries since 2011 to keep its recycling units running. 

The country sources almost 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources and was one of the first countries to impose a heavy tax on fossil fuels in 1991. However, in sharp contrast, the United Kingdom can only dream of such an effective recycling system, as the country has to bear expensive transportation costs to send its waste for recycling overseas instead of sending it to landfill and paying heavy fines under The Landfill Tax of 1996.

"Swedish people are quite keen on being out in nature and they are aware of what we need do on nature and environmental issues. We worked on communications for a long time to make people aware not to throw things outdoors so that we can recycle and reuse," said Anna-Carin Gripwall, director of communications for Avfall Sverige, the Swedish Waste Management's recycling association.

Over the years, Sweden has implemented a cohesive national recycling policy which ensures that all the energy goes into the national heating network for heat homes during the harsh Swedish winter despite that fact that most of the business of importing and burning of waste is undertaken by private companies.

However, Gripwall terms the country's policy of importing waste from countries like UK for recycling as a temporary phenomenon. She says, "There's a ban on landfill in European Union countries, so instead of paying the fine they send it to us as a service. They should and will build their own plants, to reduce their own waste, as we are working hard to do in Sweden."

"Hopefully there will be less waste and the waste that has to go to incineration should be incinerated in each country. But to use recycling for heating you have to have district heating or cooling systems, so you have to build the infrastructure for that, and that takes time," she further adds.

According to a report, Swedish municipalities are investing in futuristic waste collection techniques like automated vacuum systems in residential blocks, eliminating the need for collection transport and underground container systems that free up road space and also get rid of any smells.

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