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[GreenYes] Solid waste news from Scandinavia
Two solid waste tidbits from Norway and Sweden.

Sweden has imposed both landfill bans and landfill taxes of approximately
$25. In a recent report by the Swedish EPA for future action, it is
recommended that rather than imposing additional bans, the landfill tax be
increased by approximately $5 a ton for each of the next three years to a
level of about $40 a ton (400 Swedish kroner). A previous Swedish EPA report
had concluded the that that current landfill tax -- imposed in January of
2000 -- has been effective in reducing the flow of solid waste to landfills.
Besides an active recycling program -- including producer responsibility for
a host of products -- Sweden has an active waste to energy recovery program
which is expanding.

In Norway, the national environmental group Bellona has called for an end to
landfilling in Norway. Instead, the group notes that over half the material
can be recycled and believes that incineration with energy recovery has less
of an environmental impact than landfills. A report several years ago for
the Norwegian EPA found that the major environmental impact of landfills was
the release of methane gas and the subsequent global climate change. The
report estimated that even with a gas extraction system, about 50% of the
methane still escapes to the atmosphere. Like Sweden, Norway has a large tax
on landfills, as well as on incinerators, with the incinerator tax reduced
based on the energy recovery efficiency of the system.

Please let me know if you would like additional information.

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI  
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