The City of Dallas and the Danish Trade Council held a planning seminar to promote knowledge sharing between Denmark and the United States. This was a great way for each group to explain their technology, expertise, and find ways to help and learn from each other.
Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry opened the seminar with fun facts about Denmark.
- 50% of Copenhageners commute to work on bicycles no matter the weather.
- The Danish Harbor is clean enough to swim in.
- The United Nations World Happiness Report ranked Danes as the happiest people on Earth for 2 years in a row.
Brian Mikkelsen, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs spoke to Denmark’s circular economy and shared his own fun facts.
- He rides his bike to work every day no matter the weather.
- He watched the TV show Dallas growing up.
- It’s safe to swim in the Danish Harbor because there are no sharks.
What’s a circular economy? It’s the opposite of our linear, take, make and trash economy. In a circular economy, resources are in use for as long as possible, used to the fullest, then recovered and recycled. Or, they are used in something else or turned into energy. This video explains it.
The City of Dallas highlighted some of its Green Facts:
- Dallas is the largest city is in the US that gets 100% of its energy for city operations from renewable sources.
- Our landfill has 35 years of capacity left.
- In 2017, enough landfill gas was captured to power 70,000 homes.
- All the recyclables from our curbside recycling program is sold to mills in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama and is a source of revenue for the City.
- The Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant creates biogas and uses it to produce 40% of the power they need to clean the wastewater it receives.
Not to be outdone, Denmark shared their Green Facts:
- Some Danish wastewater treatment plants remove phosphorus from the wastewater and sell it as fertilizer to local farmers.
- Many Danes toss their food waste in a separate bin and that along with food waste from food manufactures and grocery stores is used to produce energy.
- There are energy plants in Denmark that add bacteria to wastes from different sources like slaughter houses, and dairy and pig farms to make methane that is then converted into electricity.
- Their newest wastewater treatment plant is mostly underground and the top of it is a public park.
The Office of Environmental Quality looks forward to continued relationship building and idea sharing with the Danish Trade Council because a new Danish Consulate General is opening in Houston on May 2, 2018.