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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Riddled with Recycled Angst

I have recycling anxiety. Yes, I know in the big scheme of things it is a ridiculous thing to be stressed about, but alas I am.

You see I thought Austria was organized, but that was only a warm up to Switzerland. I have to admit that it is putting my Canadian free spirited approach to the ultimate test when it comes to recycling. In Canada I had bins; I put paper, cans, cardboard and all that stuff in one bin. Garbage in another and garden waste in its own as well. Bottles and tetra packs have to be trucked on down to the recycling depot and organized for the deposit refund.

In Austria I had to sort everything.

Switzerland mandates sorting and bundling your paper and cardboard. BUT – they cannot be bundled together. They must be separated, organized and tied with a string. And – pick-ups for these items are on days I have yet to sort out. In the meantime my storage area resembles a cardboard and paper graveyard. (Come to think of it, the cellar is a pretty spooky place. I don’t know one person who likes to go in there. )

To make matters worse, a new acquaintance of mine told me that there are serious fines if recycling ends up in the garbage. He is so nervous about it that he takes all his paper recycling to work for shredding.

Okay, that little story did nothing to ease my anxiety. After a 140 SF fine for going 6 km over the speed limit I do not want to learn how much a garbage fine may be.

For the recycling issue, I decided to confront my fear. I purchased some string and spent some time on the weekend sorting and bundling my paper and cardboard. I must admit I am wondering what will happen if the little bits fall out of the bundle. And no, bags are not allowed – not even paper bags. Plus soiled paper and cardboard is not cool either. I have to assume that this stuff must go into the garbage – but then that takes me back to the garbage angst. But I have an interim solution for that too. My son gets to spend part of summer visit with me doing stealth garbage disposal in the dark of night.

Yep, I am living on the edge.

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