5 Countries With a Creative Approach to Trash Disposal

A mix of creativity and innovation makes for a cleaner planet.

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Garbage, waste and pollution are in the news every day, with growing statistics of alarming levels of trash filling the planet. For all of the dire reports, there is actually a host of individuals and governments working to reverse that trend – with innovative methods of trash disposal. These five forward-thinking countries are taking a creative stand to trash disposal – making for a cleaner, healthier world. 

1. TRADING TRASH FOR HEALTHCARE IN INDONESIA

Dr. Gamala Albinsaid saw a connection between general health and the fact that less than half of the 55,000 tons of garbage gets collected in Malang City, Indonesia. Using trash as currency, he created the Garbage Clinical Insurance, which trades garbage for medical services and medicines. The trash cash he collects is converted into money which is then pumped back into his healthcare network.

https://youtu.be/iaBGlW91qQ8

2. CONVERTING GARABAGE INTO USEABLE ENERGY IN SWEDEN

Sweden is well-known for its progressive environmental strides – the Scandinavian country’s waste-to-energy system efficiently provides direct heating to 950,000 Swedish households and electricity to 260,000 homes. Sweden recycles and sorts its trash so effectively that less than 1% ends up in landfills. Seeing garbage as a commodity, Sweden imports trash from other European countries to fuel its power needs, with 700 kg (1543 lbs) of rubbish translating into up to 250 kg (551 lbs) of energy and fuel.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/103801887

3. AN AMUSEMENT PARK MADE FROM RUBBISH IN UGANDA  

Artist and environmentalist Ruganzu Bruno is bringing ecological art to the slums of Kampala. Eco Art Uganda is a collective of artists dedicated to promoting environmental awareness, and the group created an amusement park for children from discarded materials. Recycled swings and life-size board games made from plastic bottles are just some of the attractions at the Eco Art amusement park. The creative initiative works on many levels – beautifying the community, empowering and educating kids and effectively recycling trash and managing waste.

This is the first of other Eco Art amusement parks to come in Kampala. [Facebook]

4. PAVING THE STREETS WITH PLASTIC IN INDIA

Chemistry professor Rajagopalan Vasudevan devised a way to transform common plastic litter into a substitute for bitumen — the main ingredient in asphalt used for road construction. By looking at increased levels of plastic waste due to India’s rapid economic development as a blessing in disguise, the eternal optimist views trash as a treasure trove of untapped resources. His method both solves environmental issues and saves money – as the cheaper plastic substitute replaces as much as 15 percent of the more expensive bitumen usually used.

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Instead of paving the streets with gold, let's start with plastic.

5. A FORMER LANDFILL TURNED ECO-PARK IN HONG KONG 

The Sai Tso Wan landfill used to hold up to 1.6 million tonnes of waste, stacking up to be 65 meters or 213 feet high! After being closed and sealed off with soil in 1981, a multi-purpose playground was created in 2004 powered by wind turbines, solar cells and energy derived from methane generated from the decomposed trash.

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6. Balleally dump, North County Dublin, Ireland??

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Hugs x

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