Before our tour of the VafabMiljö Biogas refinery compound, I have never heard of refining biodegradable organic waste to produce and refine fuel to be used to power transportation and electricity production. There are no operations like the VafabMiljö Biogas refinery in the U.S. The fact that the U.S. does not use biogas as an alternative to fossil fuels is astonishing to me. According to nationmaster.com in 2000, the per capita waste produced in the U.S. was around 750kgs per person per year, which is nearly double that produced in Sweden (450 kgs). Furthermore, the fact that the U.S. has a population of over 300M and Sweden only has around 9M, the sheer amount of bio gas that can be produced could potentially be on a much larger scale.
After learning about the refining process and the complex process that it takes to take biodegradable materials and turn it into a refined biogas, I started to think about if this process could be done in the states. In terms of building a facility, the answer is yes. The issue lies in the habits of Americans. Americans have issues adopting simple steps towards recycling, little lone separating biodegradable and compostable waste from others. If our trip to Sweden has taught me one thing, it is that they are a culture that value environmental quality and it has been engrained in their culture from a young age.