Eskilstuna: how a Swedish town became the world capital of recycling

The city was dying. Then somebody had a great idea to save it make it the greenest place on Earth People talk about Eskilstuna as the place where nothing new is invented, says the shopping mall manager Anna Bergstrm. An hours train ride from Stockholm, the Sheffield of Sweden has had something of an image problem in recent years. Once a steel-producing powerhouse, the town has fallen on hard times, thanks to the rapid decline in the industry throughout the 1970s. It now has an unemployment rate that is almost double the national average of 8%. But the town has come up with an answer: recycling. Far from the Scandinavian stereotype of glossy modernity, Eskilstunas wide-paved, near-deserted grey streets are …