Used furniture, clothes and electronic gadgets should be sent for reuse rather than dumping them in the bin. This benefits the environment according to recent figures from a survey by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
Visitors to Alelyckan Recycling Park in Gothenburg are welcomed by personnel who help them to search the waste for items that can be reused rather than discarded. This active method of increasing the level of reuse can cut the volume of refuse by 360 tonnes annually, with an environmental gain equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from 450 cars driven 15,000 kilometres each. If all Swedish recycling centres were to copy Alelyckan, the volume of waste could be reduced by almost 80,000 tonnes per year. This would yield a reduction of 300,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, corresponding to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from 100 000 cars. In addition, the quantity of energy saved would be enough to heat a large city. The survey was the initiative of the City of Gothenburg Recycling Office, which owns and operates Alelyckan Recycling Park, in collaboration with IVL and Swedish Waste Management, the industry´s representative body. The scientific evaluation was carried out by IVL. Shops in Alelyckan Recycling Park sell used building materials, furniture, clothes and other secondhand goods. Every year, the reception station at the facility receives about 500 tonnes of goods, almost 75 percent of which are sold in the shops. Many visitors use Alelyckan Recycling Park exclusively in the knowledge that their goods have a chance of being reused. “Reusing old goods eliminates the need to produce new replacements, which is the main saving. Electronic devices and clothes — both of which generate a major environmental impact during manufacture — are the most important items that can be reused," explains Maria Ljunggren Söderman, project manager at IVL. Click here to download the full report entitled B 1958: Reducing waste through recycling parks: analysis of the environmental impact. For further information, please contact Maria Ljunggren Söderman tel. +46-31-725 62 67.