What to do with rubbish? Danes have the answer: ski slopes

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By Euronews  with Reuters
People ski on the Copen Hill in Copenhagen, February 2019
People ski on the Copen Hill in Copenhagen, February 2019   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Ritzau Scanpix Denmark

What to do with the mountain of garbage a major metropolitan area produces is an age-old question. Copenhagen has come up with a brand new answer: ski down the mountain.

Well, not exactly. The waste is actually inside Copenhill, a waste-treatment plant 10 minutes from downtown Copenhagen. Its main facility is a futuristic building with a sloping roof 85 metres high that's covered in a material called neveplast. It looks just like a ski slope, except it's green.

"I think everybody is surprised to start with when they look at it and it's not snow," Christian Ingels, the director at Copenhill, told Reuters.

"It's green dry-slope material. After one or two runs, your mind is automatically adjusting so you feel exactly like skiing."

Designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the plant is an important step in Copenhagen's ambition to become the world's first carbon-neutral capital. 

And residents seem to appreciate the innovative approach to the waste-treatment plant. 

"It's a fantastic experience in the middle of a city to be able to do what you do like the most," said visiting skier Pelle Hansen. "Instead of having to go six, seven, eight or 10 hours to a ski destination, you can be here in 10 minutes."

The plant began operating in 2017 and the recreational part will open permanently this spring.