Flemish Recycling Runs to Chicken Feed

Flanders pioneers pay-as-you-dispose policy, reuse centers
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2007 5:43 PM CDT
BELGIUM. Flanders. Ghent. The fourth largest city in Belgium. The dockside. 2004. (LON60328)   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – The Belgian region of Flanders is attracting international attention with novel recycling schemes that include reuse centers, pay-per-bag garbage collection, and omnivorous chickens. The Russians, the Chinese and the British have come calling to see how Flanders has managed to hold its total waste generation steady even as its population and economy have grown, the Guardian reports.

To achieve this "decoupling" of waste from economic growth, the Flemish are incentivized to raise chickens in their suburban yards, feeding them everything from grass clippings to bones. Households pay by the bag to dispose of trash they don't recycle. Some garbage is incinerated, and the energy collected as reusable steam.  “Reuse” stores rebuild appliances and renew neglected components.