Friday, January 4, 2013

Africa can help Sweden in this one

Agbogbloshie refuse dump in Accra
There is something very interesting happening in Sweden, the Nordic country in Europe.  Sweden is in dire need of waste, I mean waste, rubbish or 'doti' as it is called in West African pidgin.  Yeah, it wants as much waste as it can get.
Why?  Only 4 per cent of Swedish garbage ends up in a landfill, according to Swedish Waste Management.  Yet the country needs waste to convert to renewable energy.  The European country started recently to import around 800,000 tons of trash annually from other countries, particularly Norway.
According to an NPR report "Sweden's program of generating energy from garbage is wildly successful, but recently its success has also generated a surprising issue: There is simply not enough trash." As Sweden's demand for waste increases, I read it has its eyes on Bulgaria, Italy and Romania for future waste exporters.
Olusosun landfill in Lagos
A Ghanaian friend says he's sure his government will give Sweden its wastes free of charge.  I dare say same of Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.  
Africa can help Sweden meet this need.  Most cities in Africa suffer from huge litter resulting from poor waste management systems.  From Accra, to Lagos, Freetown, Dakar, Nairobi, Port Harcourt and a host of others.  Waste is a resource that these cities have in huge supply.  These cities can meet your waste need. So Sweden look no further.

Africa has long been a source of raw materials for the west.  It can also meet this 'crucial' need.
Dandora dumping site in Nairobi
Waste recycling in these cities is almost non-existent.  Most of them rely on landfills - a highly inefficient and environmentally degrading system.  A Ghanaian friend says he's sure his government will give Sweden its wastes free of charge.  I dare say same of Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.
Africa has long been a source of raw materials for the west.  It can also meet this 'crucial' need.
"Sweden creates energy for around 250,000 homes and powers one-fifth of the district heating system, Swedish Waste Managements says. Its incineration plants offer a look into the future where countries could potentially make money off of their trash — and not just dump it in the ocean or bury it in mass landfills," writes NPR.



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