Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Relearning the 3 R's

While living in the United States, we were well versed in the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Upon moving to Switzerland, we've learned the Swiss take those concepts to the next level - waste management is a really BIG deal here.

Everywhere you go the Swiss demand expect you to recycle:
These receptacles are every 10 feet in the Bahnhof.








The only items picked up at our apartment building are our garbage bags:







 

And bio waste:

The Sack Stark (stark=strong) garbage bags are government issued and must be purchased at the grocery store. They cost 25CHF for a roll of 10 - not cheap.

Everything else: paper, PET, plastic, cardboard, glass, Styrofoam, etc. must be taken to the local recycling center called the Ökihof.
This is Canton Zug's Ökihof.
In the same building is the Brockenhaus (thrift store).















Luckily for us, our flat is not very far from the Okihof, because we have to walk there carrying all our recyclables in various overflowing bags. We are quite the sight on a Saturday morning.

A former expat warned us before we even moved here that "they" (the recycling police?) will go through your garbage to see if you have thrown anything away that could have been recycled. If they find your address, they will send you a fine. I'm not sure that is quite true, but we've decided we're not taking any chances - we sort everything:

Plastic milk bottles and bio on one side...








We use two drawers to keep the different recycling categories organized.
...and paper, cardboard, and glass on the other.













Some public buildings offer up glass bottle recycling - just separate them by color:
Clear, brown, and green glass recycling in front of soccer stadium.








In honor of this post on recycling, I've decided to recycle a poem I wrote in 2013 (it almost sounds like a cheer - and frankly, our Earth needs a little cheering up) :
help our Earth
thrive and heal
recycle with
pep and zeal

©2017, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.




4 comments:

  1. Hi Bridget, it's so fun to join you on this cross cultural journey!

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    1. Thanks, Liz! It's nice to have you along for the ride. =)

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  2. They're making you work hard for this, too. With your title I thought you were going to write about the language! My son lives in a city in a part of the US that just 'finally' got recycling pick-up. They tell me that few of their neighbors do re-cycle. While I don't know about a fine, it does seem time to have a few laws! Keep sharing with "pep and zeal"!

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    1. Thanks, Linda! It's amazing to me the variations in recycling by municipality. My mom lives in Albuquerque and they don't recycle glass! How crazy is that?! Pep and zeal for all ways to help our Earth. =)

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