Sunday, May 15, 2011

Something Different Sunday: Zurich Trash & Recycling Plant

It's been a few weeks since I've done one of these. I guess I finally have something interesting to show that I've done here in Switzerland.

Yesterday the Zurich Trash & Recycling plant had an open house. Since the plant is literally across a river and a street from us I thought it would be very interesting to check out.

They had a bunch of the equipment out. Which I thought was really neat for the kids visiting to see up close.

They had a whole section on what items get recycled and where they should go. This is something I had to get used to when living here. Everything has a specific place to go and a certain date, it gets picked up on. Most of the time I feel like I'm hoarding "garbage" items in my apartment.

To get rid of glass/aluminum I need to drag it down the street and take a right and drag it even further down the street. Where I will sort it out by white, green, or brown glass into little barrels. FYI, you have to be careful of when you bring it to these stations because they have certain times. Such as you can't do it after 6pm, absolutely no coming during lunch hour, and don't even dare try doing it on a Sunday or the old Swiss grandma/grandpa will come over and shun you. Plastic bottles are dropped off when you go grocery shopping. In our case we always forget and we have a large amount of bottles just sitting in a closet. Cardboard is collected every other month about it seems you have to flatten them down and tie them and then set them outside by the garbage can to be collected. Same goes for paper. 

All non-recyclable items have to go in a special garbage bag. They call them Zuri sacks and you have to purchase them at the checkout counters or the post office. They cost 20 Swiss Francs for 10 bags that hold 35 liters. If you don't put stuff in the correct bag.... They will try to catch you. I kid you not the city employs people to open up these bags and look for evidence.

This is where they burn them. From my understanding of the picture diagrams that they turn the burned garbage into heating oil. Could be totally wrong with that.

After going through most of the plant I really had an eye opener of how much waste we produce. Even though I find it really annoying that a lot of items take up space in our apartment waiting for the correct time to be recycled. I don't mind since I at least know that it will be properly disposed at some point.

Now on to my favorite part of this open house! It was going up an elevator to the top of this thing!

See that little red/blue capsule? I got into that and went to the top. :)
Here I am at the top!

And now remember how I mentioned that this plant is right near where I live? Well, now I'll show off a bit of my neighborhood.

Road, river, and then apartment! I can see our bedroom window from here. The building above the brown field is part of a school along with the funky shaped white building to the right of the other school buildings. There are lots of ducks along the river. Including the ones who quack all through the night, which I hear from our bedroom window.

Now on the days I want to go into the city or to the local place area for shopping I hop on the tram. I don't have to walk too far to reach it. Just down the street from my apartment and a quick left turn I've reached the tram station.

11 minutes to our shopping center and 27 minutes to reach the Zurich city center.
This is the first section of the route the first stop is at the Swiss TV station.

But there is a little secret hidden in that picture. By the tram tracks is a little field where the cows are grazing. They have come back now to pasture for the summer. The Swiss will keep animals everywhere it seems. On my tram journey to the city I will pass cows, sheep, chickens, and horses all being kept in urban areas.

From the past aerial shot I showed if you look up you might be able to see Zurich's airport. Here's a bit of a close up. We live really close by it takes 12 minutes on the tram to reach. Very convenient for us to go on vacation and for me to visit family. And maybe for somebody to visit me.

This picture is a shot that points towards where the city center is. You can't really see much since it's cloudy.

There you have it... My really random Sunday post.