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Waste management in Switzerland

  Switzerland is highly active on the recycling and anti-littering front and is one of the top recyclers in the world with a mean of 76% of all currently recyclable items being recycled.[1][2] This has narrowly surpassed the Swiss government's 75% target, meaning that for the time being there will be no introduction of a recycling tax on glass bottles and jars, nor on clothes and textiles, plastic bottles, home-use batteries, light bulbs or paperware and card.


Refuse Collection, Recycling and Elimination of General & Domestic Household Waste

In many places in Switzerland, household rubbish disposal and collection thereof is charged for. Household refuse (except dangerous and cumbersome items, batteries, sofas, electrical appliances etc.) in theory, is only to be collected if it is in bags which either have a payment sticker attached, or in official bags with the surcharge paid when the bags are purchased. However in practice, this is difficult to enforce, for hygiene reasons and the like. However it is a financial incentive to recycle as much as possible, for recycling is usually free of charge or cheaper, albeit not always operated through a door-to-door collection. Swiss health officials and police often open up garbage for which the disposal charge has not been paid. They search for evidence such as old bills which connect the bag to the household/person they originated from. Fines for not paying the disposal fee can now be up to CHF 10'000.- in some municipalities. Again many people are now aware of this and remove their names and details from any documentation disposed of illegally before trashing it, therefore rendering it impossible and futile for health officials to identify where the rubbish is coming from. In fact in some areas the cost of the payment stickers or official rubbish sacks has fallen slightly. However, where this has occurred, an annual taxation on refuse collection has been introduced or reintroduced as it were. In some extraordinary cases, a handful of municipalites have introduced refuse weighing machines and electronic chip-cards which need to be 'topped up' with money, thus enforcing payment for refuse elimination by weight and not volume. Again causing problems for elderly residents who would have to somehow get to the nearest refuse disposal point, possibly having to walk uphill or a significant distance. All such methods are proving unpopular Switzerland-wide, especially, as said, amongst the ageing Swiss nationals who often find it difficult to come to grips with the ever-imposing technological era in this extremely rich and modern country. Dumping refuse and household waste inappropriately and/or illegally also incurs a heavy fine.



  1. ^ Recycling rules and figures for 2006
  2. ^ Swiss recycling results 1992 – 2006

See also

  • Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Waste_management_in_Switzerland". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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