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11 June 2007

The Blue Containers

Recycling revisited

They have arrived while I was away. I had already seen them for some time in more central parts of Athens, but now that I returned from Germany, I found them in my neighbourhood too: The blue containers for recycleable waste. They came together with a letter from our mayor, a little brochure, and a special bag (to collect such waste, not clear if the bag goes into the container too, maybe I should read the brochure). This means that our household will be able to dispose of some things in a manner that is more soothing to the ecologically aware mind...

I wouldn't take too high a bet on the blue container's success myself. I've seen them used on two or three occasions so far. Once in Athens center, I watched a municipal worker sweeping dirt from the street onto a shovel, then emptying that shovel into a blue container. Today a mother told one of her kids (about 8 years old, with mobile phone attached to neck) to properly throw away a paper napkin. He did, by throwing it into the blue container.

Let's move this to the cafe where the old men sit to discuss life with an Ouzo and a small plate with sausage, some olives, and some cheese. If I were a politician, instead of spending the EU's money on blue containers, I'd outlaw (or as a variant, impose heavy taxes on) the plastic bags that are everywhere here in Greece. You can do that at the companies that make or import those plastic bags, while they are still packaged up in boxes or even in containers. That would help nature! (Takes sip of Ouzo and throws olive after it.)

Posted by betabug at 10:01 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
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Re: The Blue Containers

I think it's a matter of education, it takes time, and you have to start somewhere, even if it's not immediately a 100% success.
It's the same here, in Israel, where some cities have special containers for plastic bottles, and some people use them, while others don't. In time, with the help of schools and parents educating kids to use them, it will change.

Posted by: Reuven at June 12,2007 11:44
Re: The Blue Containers

Reuven my friend, you are of course right. The education has to start somewhere and maybe it could get a starting push with some people picking up the habit. At our place the special bag has already collected some things.

Posted by: betabug at June 12,2007 11:59
Re: The Blue Containers

In my neighbourhood (Kypseli) the blue containers have yet to make an appearance. We do, however, have orange and green containers, put up by various institutions, and completely ignored by everyone. Possibly because no helpful pamphlets arrived in the mail and no one is quite sure where they are (the nearest to my house is 7 long blocks away) and what they are for (in most cases, there is no signage at all to indicate whether it's paper, plastic, cans or everything that you're supposed to be dumping in there).
There is, however, a local and unfunded community organisation which is trying to raise awareness on the issue, who are publishing a monthly newsletter on the subject. They have also contacted the companies to get an offical reckoning on where these facilities are exactly, and have received no reply.
All this to say, the appearance of blue boxes and actual info pamphlets in your neighbourhood sounds terribly exotic, exciting and progressive to me! I look forward to the day that the blue boxes arrive here and I, at least, can recycle and stop cringing every time I throw out something recyclable.

Posted by: kassandrapoised at June 12,2007 22:03
Re: The Blue Containers

kassandra, "terribly exotic" - that's just the word!

I wonder why you don't have them there yet, AFAIK Kypseli is in Dimos Athinaion and that city already has blue containers. Maybe someone decided that the roads are too small in Kypseli (or some other stupid reason) and postponed things for your area. I cross my fingers for some blue containers for your place too! :o)

Posted by: betabug at June 13,2007 12:04
Re: The Blue Containers

Kypseli tends to be overlooked in many city imporovement schemes - I think because of the high percentage of immigrants living here which, in the minds of the city, probably makes us less worth caring about... Thanks though!

Posted by: kassandrapoised at June 13,2007 13:17
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