Denmark: UK rubbish goes up in smoke for heating

Rubbish at a UK landfill site Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rubbish from the UK will be keeping Danes warm and cosy this winter

Denmark is lighting a fire under the UK's landfill problem, and making cheaper energy in the process, it's reported.

Danish incinerators are burning thousands of tonnes of waste imported from the UK in order to provide home heating, the national broadcaster DR reports on its website. And it appears to be growing trend, with one incinerator plant in the northern town of Frederikshavn, run by the company AVO, doubling its imports of UK rubbish in the past year, the website says. In 2013, Denmark took in about 200,000 tonnes from the UK overall, according to the country's environmental protection agency.

The non-hazardous waste mainly comes from construction sites, including wood, cardboard and plastic from Manchester, according to AVO operations manager Orla Frederiksen. "I guess we have 600 tonnes here that provide a good combustible mixture we can then turn into district heating and power," he tells DR. The heating produced by burning waste is cheaper than using natural gas, according to the company's director, Tore Vedelsdal. "The British are interested because they lack incinerators and pay heavy taxes on landfills... They save on having to bury the waste and we save on the consumption of natural gas."

In Sweden, rubbish from the UK and other European countries helps waste-to-energy plants to provide about 950,000 homes with heating and 260,000 with electricity, the Huffington Post reported in September.

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