FUTURE PROBLEMS: Not enough trash!
Is this anthropomorphized burning trash can a fair representation of Sweden’s trash-burning power plants? Sure! Look how energized he is.
And also, a problem you only have when you’re way ahead of the curve: Sweden’s recycling program is so effective, they actually need to import trash to keep the whole thing running.
Only four percent of Sweden’s waste ends up in a landfill; the rest is recycled or used in waste-to-energy power plants to supply 20 percent of Sweden’s city heat, and electricity for 250,000 homes.
But they don’t produce enough waste to feed these power plants themselves, so they’ve taken to importing trash, mostly from nearby Norway but some from as far way as Italy or Bulgaria.
This news may fuel wild fantasies of a trash-powered future dystopia, where the balance of trash payments is the most important international indicator and a sovereign trash crisis results in the International Waste Fund providing dump-ins to countries without enough refuse to meet their obligations, but we’ve got at least a few decades before this massive shift in geopolitics.
Clearly, we should use the time we have to build sophisticated, Scandinavian-style trash power plants to turn our waste into power.
Otherwise, what will we do when the oil runs out, make electricity from sunlight? You must be crazy.