How one recycling plant is converting waste into much-needed resources

Posted 04/04/2019 by E.ON

Stockholm is one of Europe's fastest growing cities. Since 2000, the population has increased by more than 400,000 people and in five years Stockholm is expected to have more than 2.5 million inhabitants.

In such a fast-growing region, sustainability is a must, which is why in 2016 we pledged to supply 100% renewable and recycled energy in Sweden by 2025. In keeping with this goal we invested €265 million (£230 million) to open a recycling plant for the future in Högbytorp, 25 miles north west of Stockholm.

This plant will generate electricity and produce heat and biogas from waste. It will help increase the production of renewable and recovered energy in the Stockholm region by 50%.

From waste to resource
The new plant has two buildings – the biogas plant, which opened last year, and a combined heat and power plant, set to open later this year.

The biogas plant takes in food and other organic waste from around the region. The waste decays and forms biogas, a renewable alternative to petrol and diesel for converted vehicles. The biogas produced in Högbytorp each year will be enough to provide fuel for 4,500 vehicles. This isn't just a nice alternative to petrol, it also helps the environment. If you drive with biogas instead of petrol, you reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 70%.

 

After the production of the biogas much of the remaining material is also worthwhile as biofertiliser which can be used in agriculture to enrich soil and encourage food production.

Materials that can't be reused or recycled head to the combined heat and power plant. The combustion process here generates electricity and produces heat, which will be delivered to both buildings and electric-car charging stations. In this plant, 99% of the energy produced by waste will be put to efficient use.

Improving people's lives
Our recycling plant in Högbytorp will make this area even more attractive to businesses and residents. It will provide new job opportunities and attract other companies that have recycling and resource efficiency on their agenda.

We are no stranger to working in Sweden and are one of the country's largest suppliers of heating, cooling and electricity. Today E.ON has 1850 electric-car charging stations and around 50 biogas filling stations in both Sweden and Denmark.

We also feel strongly about creating new partnerships to tackle the energy and climate challenges of urbanisation. In Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö in southern Sweden, we are working with city authorities and local water and waste companies to create the city of the future. The area will be powered completely by sustainable energy by the year 2020.

With projects like these taking place around Europe, we are working to encourage sustainability and a brighter future for us all.

 

 

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