Burning discarded clothing from retail chain Hennes & Mauritz AB is helping a Swedish power plant replace coal for good.
Malarenergi has a deal with the neighboring city of Eskilstuna to burn their trash, some of which comes from H&M’s central warehouse in the same city. The refuse wasn’t specified as clothing until it was highlighted in a Swedish national television program on Tuesday.
“H&M does not burn any clothes that are safe to use,” Johanna Dahl, head of communications for H&M in Sweden, said by email. “However it is our legal obligation to make sure that clothes that contain mold or do not comply with our strict restriction on chemicals are destroyed.”
The Vasteras plant burned about 15 tons of discarded clothes from H&M so far in 2017, compared with about 400,000 tons of trash, Neren said. Malarenergi has deals with several nearby cities to receive rubbish and even imports waste from Britain to fuel its main boiler.
The facility, which supplies power to about 150,000 households, burned as much as 650,000 tons of coal at its peak in 1996.
On Tuesday, the last coal ship docked in Vasteras to supply the plant’s two remaining fossil-fuel generators from the 1960s with enough supplies to last until 2020. That’s when a new wood-fired boiler will be added to supplement the facility’s existing biofuel and trash burning units.