26 Sep 4 Examples of How Other Countries Handle Recycling Differently than the United States
4 Examples of How Other Countries Handle Recycling Differently than the United States
As the world’s population continues to grow, so too does the number of resources consumed, resulting in billions of tons of waste every year. Thankfully, environmental concerns have become much more prominent in most countries, with governments across the globe implementing various policies and regulations regarding recycling efforts.
While the United States has certainly increased its focus on recycling, there are many other countries that have taken massive steps towards more sustainable living through high levels of recycling. Conversely, several countries contribute high amounts of waste without focusing as strongly on recycling as they could.
Here are 4 examples of how other countries handle recycling differently than the United States:
1. Germany Pays You for Recycling Bottles
Using a process known as the one-way deposit system, Germany offers individuals money for each bottle they return for recycling, without requiring a deposit paid at the time of purchase by the consumer, as in many American states. Those that do are provided with a 25-eurocent payment for plastic bottles, with a 7-cent payment for any glass bottles recycled.
Lauded as a massive success, the results of this recycling system include 98.5% of refillable bottles being returned for recycling.
2. Recycling Appliances is Mandatory by Law in Japan
The Home Appliance Recycling Law was introduced in Japan in 2001, placing the responsibility of recycling home appliances on consumers, retailers and manufacturers alike. It’s a harmonious relationship with great results.
Once a home appliance reaches its end of life (EoL) in Japan, the owner (by law) must pay a small fee to have it recycled. Retailers selling them new appliances are tasked with collecting and transporting EoL appliances to recycling centers, which are operated by manufacturers of appliances.
The result is a massive reduction in discarded parts being dumped in landfills, while various metals and other valuable materials are recycled into valuable raw materials. You can even visit the recycling centers to watch the entire process, which has resulted in more than 1.5 billion recycled appliances since 2001.
3. Switzerland Charges High Prices for Refuse Bags
To prevent high amounts of waste, Switzerland has taken to charging high fees for anyone that doesn’t recycle. For example, standard grey refuse bags must be official – which cost as much as $10 – being the only option for general waste disposal.
Furthermore, Switzerland bans landfill sites, meaning that the only form of general waste disposal is through incineration. As the only way to have your waste disposed of in this fashion is by purchasing official grey refuse bags, Switzerland enjoys one of the highest recycling rates in the world today.
4. Taiwan Has Several Garbage Collection Days
Once lagging in their recycling efforts, Taiwan has quickly become one of the world’s best recyclers, with a current rate of 55%. An interesting process they have is using several types of garbage disposal trucks throughout the week.
So, rather than a single trash day like here in the United States, Taiwan utilizes several different types of garbage trucks throughout the week. Playing music to alert locals of their arrival, different garbage trucks take different types of waste to be recycled, including general refuse, food waste (including raw and cooked), plastic, paper etc.
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