22 December 2007

Mountains of Junk!

When we first moved here, we bought a whole bunch of junk from the people who lived here before us.

Mostly because we thought if we didn't, we wouldn't get the apartment. We had found the place by "meeting" them on an Expats in Zürich listserv. They had implied that they could take the apartment away from us again, if things didn't go the way they liked.

It really is a Dream Apartment and we didn't want to risk not getting it. Of course, we later found out that they had no say in the matter. But by then we already had all of their junk.

So for nearly a year their junk has been taking up the bulk of our storage space down in the basement. We had no idea what to do with it. After all, throwing stuff away is not exactly easy to do in Switzerland. There are many rules regarding garbage (and everything else, of course!)

In fact, it is so hard that I've heard of people actually moving their junk back to the US when they leave Switzerland. Because in the US you can stick most anything out on the curb on garbage day and it will magically disappear.

But in Switzerland, it is just plain not that easy. So we were storing it.

And then we heard about a magical place. A place where you can take anything and they will dispose of it for you. A place where all of your junk goes up in a poof of smoke and you can wipe your hands of it forever.

After some research we discovered the magical place is called the Abfallverwertung Horgan. And they will take pretty much anything short of nuclear weapons. They even take dead bodies! Well, dead house pets anyway.

And they took all of our junk! See how much we had? It took up nearly half of a dumpster!

How it works is that when you drive in, they weigh your vehicle with you and all your junk in it. When you leave, they weigh your car and you again. Then they figure out the difference and charge you according to the weight of your junk. (Getting rid of all of our junk cost us 54.30 chf. And it was worth every rappen!)

Here's a line of vehicles waiting to be weighed:

What do they do with all the mountains of junk they collect? Depending upon what the item is, they either incinerate it or recycle it. Here is a pile of metal and some old appliances, waiting to be recycled:

Now we have our storage room all to ourselves. Such a relief. We won't even need to bring it all back to the US when we eventually move again. Because we are not going to be Terrible Expats who sell our junk to unsuspecting newbies.


Midsummer night's knitter said...

YOu have made me a bit happier :0) We are a bit worried by the 'junk' issue. We have already had the council collect a mountain of the stuff, and we are going to have another collection but of course we will still end up taking some junk with us - now we will know what to do. That, and have a very serious think about anything else that we might want to buy...

Sara said...

you are nice for not passing it on.
in geneva the putting it out on the street works well.
as does a local freecycle group (where people even sometimes use the junk!)