At a forum organized by the Swedish Embassy and the Hellenic-Swedish Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Swedish officials provided Greeks with insights into a community that recycles half its trash.
At the second forum of its kind in Athens, Swedish Ambassador Charlotte Wrangberg, stressed the need for a “circular economy,” which produces minimum waste and pollution through high rates of recycling.
Swedes landfill less than 1 percent of their waste with 50 percent of trash recycled and another 20 percent used to produce biogas, according to Gunnar Fredriksson, head of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions. From a total of 3,000 landfills, Sweden now has 45.
Asa Tarnstrom, head of the waste management program for the city of Gothenburg in western Sweden, presented details of the city’s “recycling park,” where citizens can deposit household appliances and other items which are either recycled or repaired and resold.
Commenting, Alternate Environment Minister Yiannis Tsironis said the Greek government’s aim was for citizens to recycle 50 percent of trash, noting that penalties would not be imposed on citizens who do not recycle, as is the case in Sweden, for the time being.