How Switzerland Deals With Its Recycling Problems

Each year Swiss households generate tons of waste, it is estimated that a typical Swiss household produces more than 700 Kilograms of garbage per capita, which is one of the highest in the world according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The question is how does the country deal with all that amount of garbage and what can be said about its recycling procedures.

Recently the media portrayed Switzerland’s effective recycling procedures as one of the best in the world. But how will the country cope given that the amount of garbage has tripled over the past 25 years according to recent statistics.

Recycling initiatives are increasingly gaining momentum in Swiss cantons, for example most recently cantons like Bern have kick-started a more consistent recycling system at 52 schools along with public buildings and parks.

Patrik Geisselhardt head of Swiss Recycling said that when it comes to recycling trash the Swiss are world leaders, nevertheless he notes that good recycling habits do not always compensate for increased level of consumerism.

“Although we have already achieved a lot, we shouldn’t forget that our lifestyle consumes more resources than planet earth can provide,” Geisselhardt said.

Geisselhardt believes that to ensure that future generation of our children and grandchildren have enough we must use our resources sustainably by recycling more often.

Recent statistics show that Switzerland is doing really well when it comes to recycling, figures released by the European Container Glass Foundation show Switzerland scoring an impressive 96% when it comes to recycling, followed by Sweden scoring 97% and Denmark 98%.

Statistics show that Switzerland is finishing just a few spots close to the first place, which should give the country more impetus to do more. Bern based RESAG-Recycling is an example of such a company doing more, effectively recycle garbage and unwanted materials.

RESAG-Recycling is a business that takes all sorts of garbage and sifts through it. The recycling company accepts all kinds of rubbish including waste from construction sites or contents from basements. It sifts through 50,000 tones of waste per year, and recycles 85% of products; the rest ends up in incinerators.

Acting manager of RESAG Recycling Rene Schneider noted that there is an ever-increasing level of wastefulness in our society.

“We are a fast moving consumer society, we are quick to buy a new mobile phone or furniture-and the lifespan of these is increasingly shorter so there is automatically more waste, “ Schneider says.

Psychologists along with waste management experts agree with Schneider’s sentiments, in more affluent societies people tend to buy more, and when there is more spending power there is more waste.