Saturday, August 1, 2009

I just throw waste in a bin...

After all those perfect snaps from the land of mountains lakes and chocolates..a minute detail that cannot be left unmentioned... Waste Disposal - The Swiss way!!

Have you worried about what to do with the fish bones after a hearty meal? I had not till I traveled to this land. Have you worried about where to dispose your empty bottle of Scotch and Liqueurs and the cans of beers after a party? I had not...until I traveled to the alps. Phew!!! I had an inkling that India had spoilt me silly when I landed in Muscat and had to do most of the household chores by myself without the support system that's abundantly available in India.

But the waste disposal/recycling concept that's prevelant in Switzerland is a thing which was beyond the wildest imagination of my illiterate and non recycling brain! Here's just the tip of the ice berg...

No plastics period!! Highly commendable..but ohh so difficult!

Recyclable plastic bags of different colours have to be purchased from the supermarkets to dispose different types of waste, categorized as follows:

  1. Green bag for waste including vegetable and fruit peels, seeds etc
  2. Blue bag to dispose fish bones, chicken and mutton bones or any other non vegetarian left overs
  3. A separate bag for papers
  4. Another one for disposable plastic plates, cups and spoons or any such items they feel is non recyclable
  5. Five different sub categories of bins for five different colour of glasses available..meaning that a green bottle has to be disposed off into a bin that is precisely for green bottles and a blue in a bin for blue the scotch bottle and the beer bottle cannot go together, and the cans , definitely need a totally seperate bin..
  6. burnt oil that we so easily and mindlessly dispose off through the kitchen sink..cannot be done! No blocking of the arterial pipes by fat!!Only pure water allowed please!
  7. Batteries and other inflammable objects, I think need to be hand delivered to the town hall!!

There were even others which my brain could not assimilate, am sorry to say. So these are the only ones that I can share with you. There is a terrible irony here, the Indian community that lives in this country though small religiously follows these rules to the T. I being what I am..tried to put ideas into their brains..saying , " Night ... dark.. lots of streams... plonk it in!!" They were scandalised to say the least.."What are you talking about! Absolutely not done!!" I just hoped they have the same conscience in their next visit to the homeland!!

I cannot imagine living like that, I would never know what to throw where for one and secondly, my reducing grey cells would run haywire every hour just doing waste management!! I am not against recycling but this is too much, really!!

I wish I had taken pictures for this post..but sorry, I was just too overwhelmed by it all to take the camera and click and the official photographer was busy doing the course on waste no pictures apart from the one I took courtesy the net!


kavita said... this is the secret behind those beautiful and perfect pictures .Very interesting piece of information i love my country even more and you know why.

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

It’s, of course, a bit too much. I just visualized that; I segregating waste the way the swiss do. Initially I will be spending whole days for waste management and eventually I will end up in some lunatic asylum. But it shows how committed they are in preserving the environs.

“There is a terrible irony here, the Indian community that lives in this country though small religiously follows these rules to the T….

I just hoped they have the same conscience in their next visit to the homeland!!”

I can’t help being skeptical here for I heard countless stories of people who obey all the rules in other countries and forget it all the moment they reach India.

Kavi said...

The beauty in the land comes enmeshed in a beauty in the people to keep it so !

I wish some of it comes down to us, if not all of it !

I just wish !

Hopeless Romantic said... concept...thanks for sharing this one!

अनिल कान्त : said...

very interesting information :)
thanks for sharing

sherin said...

its not really too much i think.. we should follow it here in India..

and so beautifully written.. good to know u had a wonderful trip

SJ said...

oh man! no wonder its so clean! Do you know why they have separate disposal for meat and veges? Can you post that info also? Then I think their disposal system would make more sense.

Rush said...

i was overwhelmed with the american way of disposing...this is way too much for me.

back in my days in chicago, we had strict rules of keeping the garbage out in the curb-
1. Regular garbage - black coloured recyclable plastic garbage bags which are approved.
2. A green garbage box for all the recyclable material like paper, milk bottles etc.
3. A brown paper (approved height & weight)garbage bag for all the yard waste collected like fall leaves, tree stems fallen off, all the unwanted mowed grass etc.with a $1 sticker on each bag, otherwise they wont pick it off my curb...there were times when i used to have 10 bags during FALL.

And u wont believe, we had 3 separate days in which these designated bags would be taken off..initially when i moved in, i was so confused..i used to wait until my neighbours had their bags out on their curb and then i used to come out with mine.

And guess wat, on top of it- $25 every month just to get our garbage disposed..killer expensive!!
i was fed up with all the garbage business after a while!!phew!! thank god no more!!
like throwing money out!!

Priya said...

wow...over there lies the secret of beauty on abundance and for free...well..somewhere at the cost of the grey cells. :).but commendable...thanks for sharing this info.. :)

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Although I am part of the sorry state of affairs in the 'homeland', I do so admire this kind of disciplined citizenship.

The Survivor said...

That's quite a task.

I guess then one need to put an instructional poster over the dustbin telling which color of plastics to use and when :)

Its real bad that Indians do that

BK Chowla said...

It really is up to the citizens to keep up with waste management.
Even in Singapore,they have kept three separate waste bins in public places...Plastic-Paper-Cans.Everyone follows the rules which results in keeping the city clean.
Good post

Pradip Biswas said...

Episode 5 of A trek to unknown is just published. Somoy hole porben. Apnar Comment khub inspiring. Ebare kintu dhire dhire asal kahani r dike jachhi.

sujata said...

@Kavita I totally felt the same way.

@Arun I would be in the asylum within the month..and I dont think the Indians follow this rule when home..I just hope they will.

@Kavi so many people here, so many illiterate, so much inflation, its just tough buying your food, how will we ever think of waste..its a tall task, they have it easy all said and done..

@Hopeless Romantic thanks

@Anil thanks

@Sherin thanks, but not at all easy to do in India, the entire swiss is not even 1/4th the size of our country and the population is so low..moreover there is no poverty and 100%litercay..

@SJ veggie disposal is recycled as manure which is not the case for non veg seperated. Actually the cost of manpower is so high that the seggregation is completely done by the citizens themselves at that recycling can be done directly from the various bins

@Rush I loved your detailed comment esp the part where you take out your garbage last, after all the neighbours! Its overwhelming and expensive..

@Priya thanks

@Sucharita it truly is disciplined..taxes go down once you are married and further down with each by the time you have your fifth, which they do..they have to pay zero taxes!!

@Survivor the bins do have some symbolic pics to identify them.

@BK Chowla three is understandable..but this is found way beyond my realm.

@Pradipda nishchoi porbo, amake apni bolben na please.

Pesto Sauce said...

Gosh....cannot imagine this in India

Here for all wastes we do not have even one bin...though all hues and colors of waste can be found on roads

Shivi said...

Who would even imagine this in India! some=things are worth following, and that should be done!
-It was a nice eye opener post!!

eye-in-sty-in said...

Its the price to pay for keeping the land beautiful. Considering the pristine land, the price is small.

R. Ramesh said... comments dint get saved again..lemme repeat..i liked kavi's comment..The beauty in the land comes enmeshed in a beauty in the people to keep it so ! hey Su, great photos, wonderful presentation..cheers friend..

Nazish Rahman said...

Isn't that great...i think the government and the people of Switzerland should be complemented for this lovely effort.. we should also follow it...

ZiLliOnBiG said...

wow, swiss had made you so wise. Ode to SWISS.

I throw all my waste in waste bin. Even in India, but used to throw everywhere before a trip to England.

I understand what you mean.It had the same effect on me as in you. TC, Nice post.:)

Babli said...

Very interesting information with wonderful presentation.

Aparna said...

I know a person who threw some oil down the kitchen sink in USA.
the oil froze in winter, causing clogging of drains. The authorities tracked him down and made him pay huge fine.
What a pain this segregation of garbage is but i think the effort would be worth it. We should go ahead and do this. Delhi had already started it when i was there, now i do not know what is the situation.

Double-Dolphin said...

Can't I just pay someone to sort stuff out for me? :)

kavita said...

Sujata...a great makeover of your blog..just perfet for friendship celebrations.

R. Ramesh said...

gr8 going friend..and thanks for your visit..and encouragement

Indrani said...

How I wish we Indians followed this meticulously! Very informative post!

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

Wow! That's amazing. But it really explains how they keep their country so clean and tidy. There are a few places here in the states that are very careful like that. Where we used to live have separate bins for every plastic #1-#7, then different colored glass, then cardboard, and on and on. Here in my town they only except certain plastics (#1 and #2), cardboard, and glass.

Believe it or not, we actually drive it across town each week and put it in all the right bins. The thing is, we will eventually run out of space to dump it into the ground. So we have to do something. We've also started our own compost here at our house, so all our vegetable remains go in there and it's slowly decomposing. We'll use that wonderful soil next year in our garden.

Aw.S.M said...

See...thats y those places r so damn beautiful.

they r so well maintained...waste management is such a serious issue back home and if it continues the way its going...i m sure we r gonna need even more drastic measures to clean up the country.

The swiss atleast realised the consequences and the need to maintain the environment b4hand..hence this is all they gotta do.

I m not lookin forward to the day the indian govt finally decides to act and not just talk coz the work we ll have to do then is gonna be immense.

So Kudos to swiss watse management and swiss chocolates :P


Nona said...

:) Yes! They are very meticulous and planned. I wish there were some acclimatization classes when we touch down in Switzerland!

Nice compilation.

sujata said...

@Pesto Sauce true

@Shivi thanks

@eye-in-sty-in I guess it is

@Ramesh thanks

@NR thanks

@ZB Swiss made me wise! I like that

@Babli thanks

@Aparna they have to worry about arterial arrests in the plumbing deptts too..

@Double Dolphin you probably can..but just that he would charge you more than your salary!! Thats the whole point man power is extremely costly

@Kavita thanks

@Ramesh thanks

@Indrani it can only be on our wish list..maybe if schools introduced a subject on waste management..the future generations could do it.

@Shaye the vegetable compost that you mentioned is done in India as well in small towns where people live in their own houses with a garden, and its very good.

@Aw.S.M you have to do this okk make seperate bins in your place and do waste management!!

@Nona you were there for months..what was the experience? did you understand what to throw where?

numerounity said...

Well I think it is a brilliant idea and we must have similar norms, though not so overly detailed in India. We should have at least-
1. A seaparate bin for re-cyclable and another ofr non recyclable
2. A separate bin for food and other for glasses, plastics etc...
3. A separate bin for sanitary
4. A separate bin for lead, batteries and other wastes...

Trust me that will bring great difference to ecosphere!

mathew said...

Living in Germany for past three years I have exactly the same feeling as you...and truly impressed by the waste management system people follow in Europe..arent we arrogant about how much we respect our nature!

Sumandebray said...

When you have more space .. less people ... and expensive labour.... that is a good solution.
Everything is used and recycled from where I come from!
BTW Dubai is increasingly using 3 color waste bins for screening and segregation

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