July 12, 2008


When I was a kid our Scout troop would work at the city recycling center a few times a year and earn money for summer camp. Those were the days-- unloading cars, climbing up into the newspaper truck, building forts and having paper fights, running the can smasher and the glass smasher, walking over to the golden arches for lunch. Ever since I've liked recycling.

So, I like the way they handle garbage in Sweden. Recently we got a letter from the city explaining how they were going to start turning our food waste into biofuel. We got these special paper bags and were instructed to fill them with egg shells, coffee grounds, pasta, meat and bones, vegetables and so on, even paper towels.

Our normal garbage bins had 7 compartments and they split the 'garbage' compartment into two, creating a space for the food waste.

The four compartments on the left are cardboard, newspaper, clear glass and metal. These they empty every six weeks. On the right is food waste, regular garbage, colored glass and hard plastic. This gets emptied every other week.

You might think its not much space and you'd be right. We'd be in trouble if any of the kids were still wearing diapers.

The recycling bins are next to our wild roses, they are having a good year this year.

If you have more trash than can fit in the bins then you get to drive it yourself to one of the city's recycling centers. They have shipping containers for things that burn, things that don't burn, paper, metal, garden waste, chemical waste, batteries, electronics, stoves, paint cans and oil. It's therapeutic to launch the broken wheelbarrow that came with the house into a huge pile of scrap metal. They sell potting soil there made from people's garden waste, kind of like Soylent Green.


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