I’m sure you all do your own recycling which while on a small scale is a great effort when scaled up, but there are some very interesting recycling projects around the world that go beyond doorstep collections and local recycling centers. Some countries have some unique recycling projects. These countries have embraced the green ethic and some of them even have laws to enforce the requirements. Here are some of the more interesting ones.
Germany has quite a few recycling projects including one for dead animals. Animals from the home and on roads are put into their recycling bins and the fats are rendered from them. The fats may be used in a number of industrial and consumer applications. They also charge a fee for picking up rubbish, but will pick up your recycling for free. As a result, any leftover food on the plate tends to go down the toilet instead of in the bin.
Items that cannot be recycled are burned, which is good for saving landfill but bad for the environment. To combat this, the Swiss people are charged for rubbish removal. There’s no charge for recycling but there’s a charge per bag of rubbish, with larger bags being charged more than smaller bags. They have a land-filling ban which means that something must be done with waste instead of just putting it in the ground.
The Swedes burn their waste and turn it into heat and electricity. It does not power the entire country but it produces enough for around 250,000 homes. They are recycling as much as they can, but anything else is burnt, which means they have no need for landfills. Sadly, this burning is bad for the environment and so is not ideal. The idea is not a new one either--as any person who has ever played SimCity on the PC will tell you.
It is a law in Japan that you have to pay to dispose of your home appliances. The law says that you have to send it to a place such as the Panasonic Eco Technology Centre where it is stripped down for parts and then recycled. It is one of those recycling projects that has further economic benefits as it makes people more careful about the quality of the items they buy, which forces manufacturers to create more durable and high quality appliances.
The Italians have instigated rules about waste and charge people for creating it. People are also supposed to separate their recycling from their waste or else they are fined. You can also be fined if you have a recycling bin 500 meters from your home and yet you have not recycled your waste. If you are lazy and cannot be bothered to sort your recycling from your waste in any shape or form, then you are given a hefty fine.
Here they have recycling that is picked up from your home (like many countries), but they have also found a use for old tires by either putting them in playgrounds to help avoid injury to the kids, or by mixing them with asphalt to make new roads. Interestingly, this is another of the recycling projects that features in the SimCity games.
This country has recycling projects for its cars. Around 91% of a scrap car is recycled. They can easily recycle the metal, but the other parts are often more difficult. But, they have a shredding machine that is able to separate parts of the car up so that they can save more of the car materials. With technology, they are able to separate out a lot more so that more can be recycled and the melted goods have fewer impurities in them.
I think other countries can adopt some of these recycling projects. I know that most governments promote recycling but it could be done more forcefully. I personally think fines are a good way to reinforce the message – how do you feel about that? Do you think your local area recycles enough?
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