Saturday, August 31, 2013

Recycling and two sons

Here in Switzerland we do try and recycle: I can put my normal garbage bags out twice a week, then the compost green bin goes out on Tuesdays. Once a month we drag the cartons of paper and, if I have signed up, another the glass. Also, once a month, we can put on the sidewalk in front of our house any cumbersome objects (anything from a sofa, to a refrigerator, to leftover iron bars). During the late afternoon and evening on those days, one can see vans cruising the neighborhood looking for anything interesting and one is proud if what one divests oneself of, is no longer there in the morning for the city collectors – reverse snobbism: my junk is valuable to someone else; your junk is still on the sidewalk!

All of these items can also be taken to a recycling spot in the village, together with clothing. The rest (electronics, paints, oils, and any of the afore-mentioned items as well) we can take to specific recycling sites in the state.

My oldest son needed to get rid of a computer tower, a vacuum cleaner and other such and as he doesn’t have a car, Mother was called upon.  I decided that it was a great occasion to divest myself of those electronic items having collected several months worth of dust down in my cellar and we made an appointment to do this on the only day that the center is open both morning and afternoon.

Lovely sun, light traffic and I was across town before I knew it – arriving early at his apartment. No problem I had several of the newspapers and magazines that had accumulated during my various spots of entertaining visitors and housemates.

At the center we got rid of it all – with son one going back to recuperate several items for a chap who was looking for still-working materials for Africa (this son did his master’s project in Burkina Faso).

Another reason for doing it just before noon was to be able to have a quick lunch together as, although we both live in the same town, our schedules don’t mesh often and we will probably not sea each other until the end of September in San Francisco when my nephew - their cousin- gets married.

As son number two’s apartment isn’t far away, I also took advantage of the situation to call him and bring the mail, which had arrived this week. (Most of his mail now goes to his flat, but some of it still comes here – he has only been gone 18 months – no rush to change addresses officially, but then as son number one just did so – at age 35 – I really can’t complain and it is an excuse to see him occasionally).

Actually was free to talk so we went over our current arrangements for the trip to California.

All in all a wonderful part of the day’s activities: now on to the actual tasks that need doing.