Monday, May 13, 2013

Garbage exports?

We truly live in a small world. After dumping industrial and toxic trash in the developing world all these years, Europe is now shopping for garbage to keep its cities, schools and homes heated. What better place than the developing world to shop for garbage!
Reports indicate that northern Europe needs more than 700 million tons of trash to keep its waste-to-energy plants running. Most of its current demand is either domestically met or from garbage shipped from southern Europe. Yet, the demand is far more than what neighboring countries can spare after meeting their domestic needs.  
As more waste incinerators are being built in Sweden, Norway, Austria and Germany to meet the growing demand for heating public places these countries are left with two options - either encourage households to produce more trash or else import garbage from across the world. Easier to import when garbage is mounting in the poor world. A company in England is already shipping some 1,000 tons of garbage to keep its systems running.
Since incinerators have cornered environmental controversy in India and for rightful reasons, there exists an opportunity to explore feasibility of exporting as much as 109,589 tonnes of garbage that piles our streets on a daily basis.  Win-win solution? Will we see nations fighting for garbage? Jokes apart, many fear the quality of garbage and lack of segregation in developing world could be a detractor.

No comments: