Posts Tagged ‘Bribes’

Bribed trash collectors as standard

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We’ve known for quite some time now that everyday city trash attracts a lot of black market services. The most famous example is of course the mobsters who control large quantities of Italy’s trash. In Sweden, while the mob doesn’t seem to take a heavy interest, a lot of trash is collected under the eye of the municipal authorities and companies officially running business.

In an intriguing piece for Swedish weekly magazine Fokus, Nuri Kino, Petter Ljunggren and Mattias Pleijel lift the lid of the bin that is the real trash collecting economy in my hometown of Stockholm, claiming that their discoveries are valid for most of the country. A system has developed where restaurant owners don’t want to pay for collection every day of the week, but rather once or twice, and then slip Mr. Trash Collector some $100 on the side for the other days of the week. Further, there’s complimentary food and drinks to expect.

For some trash collectors, this seem to have developed in to a full blown lifestyle, with some restaurant owners having no option but to put out that free lunch, or finding out that the refuse truck is suddenly broken, oh sorry there will be no collection today as scheduled.

Would be surprised if this doesn’t spark debate back home, as us Swedes always pose happily about sharing the top spot at the Corruption Perceptions Index (where being #1 means very little bribing), currently together with Denmark and New Zealand. Now, the obvious question to the rest of the world: Where there is no trash mobster boss running things, how do these things play out? Who are the beneficiaries, who lose and what is being done about it? Everydaytrash wants to know!


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