A Swiss woman has received an AU$350 fine – two days in jail if she fails to pay – for not recycling cardboard properly:

Although she had disposed of her old cardboard neatly, placing smaller items inside a larger box before leaving it outside her house for collection, she had failed to tie it up.

When she returned home in the evening, the cardboard was still there. She assumed the fine resulted from the fact that the bundle was left sitting on the street.

Zurich’s waste and recycling authority, ERZ, defended the fine in comments to the radio programme.

“It says on all our information sheets and on the ERZ website and app that cardboard must be folded and secured with a string,” a spokeswoman said.

It’s pretty much the same in Australia:

A Hamilton Hill man has labelled his local council ‘bin snoops’ after it employed workers to rummage through people’s trash to make sure they were separating their rubbish correctly.  

The City of Cockburn, in Perth’s south, has inspected more than 13,000 bins since it began rolling out its new three bin system which requires residents on blocks bigger than 400 square metres to divide their household waste into garden waste (green bin), recycling (yellow bin) and general waste (red bin).

Penn and Teller test people’s willingness to “do the right recycling thing”:

Recycling fervency is proving counterproductive, and expensive:

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of glass are being stockpiled and landfilled instead of being recycled, threatening to seriously damage the community’s faith in the billion-dollar recycling industry.

Key industry insiders interviewed by Four Corners have described an “unsustainable situation” with glass which has “nowhere to go” because there is “no viable market”.

Good intentions don’t always produce positive results.

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