Denmark Environment Minister Ida Auken Calls for a Greener Denmark through Recycling

Cycling may be a popular way to get around Denmark, but when it comes to RECYCLING, it’s all a different matter.

With Denmark’s capital city home to an incinerator and new and more efficient one with perks to boot going up, there seems to be no real practical reason for Danes to really push for recycling. This burn mentality may not prove to be a problem with solid waste build-up since the incinerators can really take care of the problem, but it sure does take its toll on the environment in terms of air pollution.

Right now, reports state that “approximately 50 percent of all household rubbish is burned at incinerator plants that convert rubbish into energy for residential electricity and heat.” The problem though is that this amount results in having the country emit “70,000 more tonnes of carbon dioxide yearly than originally thought … exceeding the carbon dioxide goals under the Kyoto Protocol.”

While Denmark may be proud of the innovative Amager Bakke waste-to-energy plant, it is clear that from the environment’s perspective decreasing the amount of garbage burned and recycling is still the way to go.  This is why Environment Minister Ida Auken is proposing a scheme that would increase recycling and decrease household waste to be incinerated. According to Ms Auken, “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.” She believes, however, that the Danes want to do the right thing by mother earth and want to recycle, but they only need to be convinced that it is indeed the right direction to take.

Now, if only Danes can take to recycling as much as they do cycling, the country will not only be the happiest country but also be one of the greenest there is in the world.

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