with a ban on landfilling of combustible wastes, the Swedish municipalities are giving an impetus to biological processing of household waste. As a result, the capacity of such processing is being increased and the incineration capacity is also rising rapidly.
Proposed in 1997, the new combustible waste landfilling ban covers all household waste, according to Gunnar Fredriksson of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (epa).
Following the new rules, Sweden's landfilling of household waste will be reduced to 10 per cent in the next three years. Municipalities have already cut waste landfilling by 37 per cent since 1994. "We can't fulfil the ban without capacity to treat the waste," Fredriksson admits.
Municipalities are planning to give a boost to biological treatment of source-separated organic waste. The current capacity is under 400,000 metric tonnes per year, but this is expected to more than double by around 2010.
The current incineration capacity for household waste is already higher, at 1.5 million metric tonnes, and this is also expected to increase in the coming years.
The Swedish government intends to monitor the local authorities' implementation of the new rules and the epa is also developing further policy proposals to ensure long-term sustainable waste management.
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