Recycling Around the World… Denmark

posted 27.08.2009
Continuing the recipro recycling around the world series... we look at DENMARK

Waste is not just waste. That is the underlying philosophy of one of Europe's "greenest" countries. For decades, the Danish environment policy has been to regard waste as a resource.

Tough standards have been set by consecutive governments, but it is up to the local authorities to collect whatever waste households may produce.

In 2003 that averaged 559 kg of waste per Dane, ranging from plastic and paper to bottles and batteries. In those councils where not all types of waste are collected at the house, nearby disposal sites or citizen helplines are in place.

Nearly 10,000 Danes are in the business of collecting waste - more than 0.1% of the entire population.

The hard push towards a greener Denmark has given he country a proud record.

Government figures for 2003 suggest that 31% of all household waste was recycled, while 62% was incinerated. The remaining 6% was landfill waste.

However, often the total amount of waste is not big enough for Denmark to have its own recycling plants. In particular, plastic waste, waste from electrical and electronic products, and batteries and metal are sent abroad for recycling.

The government also aims to limit the waste mountain by encouraging industry to promote products that leave a minimum of waste after use.

Category: environment, general, recycling