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Smart Cities Marketplace

PLEEC Site Eskilstuna


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Cities can make use of existing infrastructure to boost their energy efficiency. As a result of careful planning, the Swedish city of Eskilstuna became the first city to colour sort six different fractions of household waste in 2010. Optical sorting was seen as a cheap and flexible system and existing garbage trucks could be used to collect the waste from households. The overall goal was to increase the efficiency of sorting and to better utilize waste also in the waste processing unit.

How does it work then? It is pretty simple, really. Food, packaging and newspapers are sorted from other waste and placed in coloured plastic bags, which are Colour-coded waste bags storm the city Optical sorting of household waste then thrown into regular trash. The waste is collected by Eskilstuna Energy and Environment and optically sorted by a machine at the local recycling centre. Food waste is turned into biogas, packaging becomes new packaging and the remaining fragments are incinerated for energy. Households get new waste bags simply by informing the postman.

The ratio between burnable waste and food waste has clearly become better after the colour-coding started, which makes this an encouraging example to other cities looking for new ways to cope with waste management issues. 

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