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(Aug 30, 2013) Denmark's Environment Minister, Ida Auken, has announced a new approach to handling rubbish in the country. In September, the government is expected to present a plan to require households to sort trash into several bins, based on the type of item thrown out, for recycling. Currently most trash is sent, unsorted, to incinerators. Auken stated, "Danes will have to sort more of their waste. The goal is definitely to recycle more and incinerate less. That is a paradigm shift for Denmark, because so far, we have been the world champions of waste incineration." (Andreas Jakobsen, Environment Minister Calls for Increased Recycling and Waste Sorting, THE
Denmark is not currently meeting the goal set in an EU Directive of a 50% rate of recycling by 2020 for waste paper, plastic, metal, and glass. It relies more on incineration than nearby nations Germany and Sweden. (Jakobsen, supra; Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on Waste and Repealing Certain Directives, 2008 O.J. (L312) 3-30, EUROLEX.)
At present, about half of all household waste in Denmark is burned at plants that convert the garbage into energy used to heat and provide electric power to residences. (Jackobsen, supra.) While the process is efficient in capturing energy, it produces high carbon dioxide emission levels. One study found that 70,000 tons more of these emissions than originally projected were being released. The levels are greater than the goals set under the Kyoto Protocol. (
The Danish organization Dakofa, which focuses on waste management, expressed approval of Auken's announcement. Morten Petersen, who heads the organization, stated that the ideal plan would be to have separate containers for items to be recycled and items to be burned. He noted that "[i]n general, people will have to meet more demands. In the beginning they may have to pay for the rubbish cans themselves, but there can also be a positive economic outcome if we use the materials better." (Jakobsen, supra.)Recycling projects have been instituted on a trial basis in several locations in Denmark, including in
|Author:||Constance Johnson More by this author|
|Topic:||Environmental Protection More on this topic|
|Jurisdiction:||Denmark More about this jurisdiction|
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Last updated: 08/30/2013