Norway Now has the Most Efficient Recycling Plant on Earth
Making new from old
Recycling technology has come a long way since the first major investments in the sector in the 1970s. Anything from paper, plastic and metal, to entire houses, almost anything can be recycled nowadays - and countries like Sweden have actually become so effective at recycling that it needs to import trash to keep its recycling plants going. Neighboring Norway is taking it a step further, and in 2015 inaugurated the world’s most effective fully automated solid waste recycling plant in village of Skedsmokorset outside of Oslo.
Waste collection in Norway is based on a four-container system: a green bag for food waste, plastic and residual waste, another container for paper and cardboard, and a third for glass and metal packaging. Lastly, a red bin collects electronic and hazardous waste. Originally designed with a processing capacity of 30 tons per hour (tph), the Skedsmokorset plant has already undergone an expansion in October 2015 to increase its capacity to 40 tph. The plant’s automation system is so effective, that only two operating staff work in the plant to load the waste and remove the baled materials. The sorting is fully automatic, and monitored and controlled by closed-circuit television.
Romerike Avfallsforedling, the company running the plant, goes even one step further and runs all of its waste collection vehicles on biogas produced from garbage recycled at the plant. Efficiency and green thinking was employed for every corner of the plant: the 6,000 square meter building covers six floors and in some places reaches 15 metres in height utilizes every available meter to keep it as small as possible, thereby saving heating costs in the winter. According to the waste management contractor, the plant relies on the local community sorting out their waste into colour-coded bags to ensure it maintains its efficiency.
While Norway only has a population of just over five million, this pilot plant proves that with the right tech and proper awareness, we can take big step towards a trash free future.
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