The US throws out 250 million tons of garbage a year. Roughly a third is recycled, and the rest is landfill. You might think that’s a problem. But one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Oslo, Norway burns rubbish to power and heat homes, and they’ve run out. The city imports trash from Sweden, Ireland, England—and they wouldn’t mind taking on a few tons from the US.
And it’s not just Oslo. Northern Europe’s trash burning capacity outstrips its trash producing capacity by 550 million tons. Neighboring Sweden imports 800,000 tons of trash annually to make energy. Norway, Austria, and Germany are also getting in on the game. In total, 40 countries worldwide burn trash for energy.