How many Master’s students does it take to Recycle?

Photo: Chuck Norris (Hermes Droghetti) feels good recycling

Q – How many Master’s students does it take to Recycle?

A – All four of us in the house. (ha ha ha) Fine, don’t laugh. I will make fun of you when your time comes 🙂

Keywords: environment consciousness

I think the Swedes have three national sports: queuing, kanelbulle eating, and recycling. I’m afraid soccer and ice hockey didn’t make the shortlist… sorry Zlatan. So, what I want to talk about today is Swedish recycling.


Once upon a time I read an article about “Sweden ran out of garbage” (google it, interesting read). The recycling companies pick up categorized garbage. Your food waste lives a glorious afterlife as they are turned into energy. But it is really true. Some of the key points from that article…

  • 250,000 homes are powered by garbage
  • 80,000 tons of garbage is imported from Norway

Random story:

I was traveling in Japan this summer. I was impressed by the cleanness of the streets in Japan. What I found even more interesting is that you don’t find garbage bins easily in public. I met an American guy, who was sent to Japan by his company to learn about good practices for export to America, and he pointed out Japanese people bring separated garbage from home and recycle them at local subway stations. I was mind blown!

Perhaps Sweden can win the “silver medal” in recycling. Once you land in Sweden, you should walk around your neighborhood and find the miljöstation (Garbage station). You will be amazed by how specific each bin is! In my block, we have three disposal locations for various types of garbage. (I confess I haven’t figured them out to the fullest extent yet.)


Sure, I enjoy separating paper from everyday waste. I have a great time putting organic waste in decompost bag. But beyond that, frankly, I found the detailed recycling a nuisance in the begining. Three month later, I have six garbage bins in my kitchen! I think I got a master’s degree in sustainability.

Again, good for you Sweden. Rest of the world, learn!*

*note, I’m not sure how well the Swedish recycling system will work elsewhere in the world. However, I’m sure if we all put in a little effort separating our garbage, we will do this planet some good.

Fun exercise, I was staring at the label of two bins for five minutes and I couldn’t figure out the difference between the two. Can you spot the difference?

Bottle colors

Written by Gimmy

16 Nov 2014