Do you have a waste management problem and need ideas about how to handle it? And do you want to generate a profit in the process? You can learn from Sweden’s Gävle region, where you’ll find pioneering waste management sites, biogas plants, compost plants and waste management experts.
Gästrike Återvinnare (Gästrike Recyclers) is an organisation that works on sustainable social development by imparting knowledge and providing solutions, enabling people to be involved in and contribute to a better environment. Together with the region’s residents, Gästrike Återvinnare is committed to a sustainable future.
Waste management for five municipalities
Gästrike Återvinnare is responsible for municipal waste management in five member municipalities. They provide services for 162,000 people and their responsibility includes waste collection, treatment and planning and providing information about household waste. It conducts operations both on its own and through subcontractors. The emptying of sludge and grease, as well as treatment of waste, only takes place on a contract basis. Since 2012, Gästrike Återvinnare has also managed the collection of household waste in house.
From food waste to biogas and bio-fertilizers
One example of sustainable solutions is the production of biogas and bio-fertilizers from the region’s food waste at a plant in Forsbacka. This is carried out by Gästrike Ekogas AB, a company owned by Gästrike’s recycling centre together with Gävle Energi. The result is a local, circular cycle in which petrol and diesel can be replaced with fossil-free biogas for buses, waste collection trucks and taxis. The bio-fertilizers are used by local farmers to return important nutrients to the soil. Besides the benefits in the recycling of waste, it also creates jobs.
In addition to physical waste management, Gästrike Återvinnare invests heavily in spreading knowledge and influencing attitudes to strengthen engagement in and awareness of waste management and recycling. For instance, it provides environmental education for companies, educates school students and other groups, and produces communication campaigns and events. Together with other operators, Gästrike Återvinnare also exports its knowledge and solutions to other countries.
Comprehensive recycling centre
Sörby Urfjäll in Gävle is the location of one of its 12 recycling centres that receive sorted and hazardous waste. The site also includes offices, a warehouse, workshop and vehicle wash.