DA 5: Review the following news item to motivate your discussion.
Norway’s Trash is Sweden’s Treasure, literally speaking!
For your discussion, I am including below links to a news item profiling Sweden’s unique imports from Norway; it needs Norway’s trash for the creation of its heat and electricity. While it is a noble effort towards sustainable consumption, it makes for interesting ‘trash supply chain’ headaches such as, spoilage during transportation leading to spread of germs/bacteria, need to clean and sanitize transportation carriage after delivery, etc., to name a few. Not to mention increased carbon footprint of transporting items from another country, thereby somewhat offsetting benefits realized through sustainable consumption. Provide your opinion on what your learned from this news item. In your discussion, you may include your insights on whether or not is this the best course of action, and what other inputs for power generation can be explored by Sweden.
News Item: Sweden forced to import trash from Norway to create heat and electricity (clicking this link will download the item as a PDF file)
On a separate note, New York City actually markets/sells its garbage online (http://nycgarbage.com/ (Links to an external site.)) and is quite effectively at that!
This is a sample discussion post by my friend
Sweden’s methods of generating electrical power and reduce landfill at the same time are a great solution to efficiently use trash. The agreement they have with Norway also makes this type of system somewhat profitable for Sweden and the added bonus to the agreement is that Norway has agreed to take back the burned debris, which in the end reduces the amount of waste in Sweden. Both countries are reducing landfill which is a plus for both countries. Although, as posted in the discussion assignment, transport methods become extremely important, as well as the increased carbon imprint from generating electricity through burning the trash. The article mentions that Sweden has created the “world’s best incineration plants concerning energy efficiency,” but they do not address the carbon problem caused by the conversion process. The article does not mention transport methods at all, so it can only be assumed that they have figured out an efficient and safe way to transport the garbage. The bacteria from the garbage is extremely concerning and so the garbage must be transported within a fully enclosed and well sealed compartment, as well as the routes taken must have little to no human population to ensure bacteria and germs do not affect people.
Generating electricity by reducing land waste is a very efficient way of using unwanted resources for any country. I believe this is a great starting point to reduce overall landfill around the world. Electrical energy production almost always produces carbon outputs, so by burning landfill in place of gasoline or any other materials used to produce electricity, I think that it will be beneficial for any country. To make this method more efficient, I would recommend minimizing travel distance of the landfill. By building the incineration plants closer to where the landfill is collected, this will save time and materials needed to transport the landfill. If they the collection designation and the incineration plant were to be in the same place, transportation methods would not be a problem.
On the separate note, the idea of recycling New York City garbage by arranging the garbage in a stylistic way and selling them is an interesting way to clean up the streets of larger cities and avoid landfill.