January 2, 2017
Earlier this year, a video explaining Sweden’s efficient trash burning system made the Facebook rounds, touting a shocking statistic: less than one percent of this country’s household waste ends up in a landfill. Instead, much of it is incinerated and converted into usable electricity and heat via waste-to-energy plants. In the U.S., the clip left the social media community scratching its collective head, and asking: Why aren’t Americans burning more of our own garbage?
Considering we’re in the midst of a trash crisis, it’s a good question. Every year, humans generate more than a billion tons of solid waste, and that number will be closer to 4 billion by 2100. In America, each of us throws away more than seven pounds of garbage a day. In other words: we’re surrounded by rubbish, and because our population is on the rise, the problem is set to get worse.