Posts Tagged ‘Trash crime’

The most carcinogenic place on the planet

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Via Unconsumption, found this well produced news piece from CBS 60 Minutes on global tra$h. Among other interesting details, I recommend it for the tracing of high-lead monitors from supposedly super ethical US recycling company Executive Recycling, via the Hong Kong harbour, the Hong Kong mayor and into gangster tra$h land, where the local industry has transformed the community to the most carcinogenic in the world.

As the piece concludes however, Executive Recycling are not the only ones in this dirty business. Apparently, the feds are on the case. Tra$h Cops, gotta love them!

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!

Swedish recycling crimes

Friday, January 30, 2009

Living in Sweden, one gets used to recycling. “To not recycle” is one of the things you just don’t_do, should you want to be able to blend in with your average crowd of people. We take it very seriously. A few years ago, municipal authorities brought a 77-year old woman to court for failing to recycle a frying pan in the correct manner, and last year a police candidate was fined for placing a cat litter box outside the plastic recycling container, instead of inside. [The links are in Swedish, so most of the readers will have to take my word for it.]

There are many examples like this, all made possible by a system of Garbage Spies, who stand guard at public recycling stations (undercover), and document wrongdoings. The Garbage Spies however, claim that highlighting the 77-year old woman makes them look stupid (yathink?), and that their work is focused on finding people who dump big things, say 20 gallons of frying oil without permission.

I myself find this highly amusing, but at the same time I’m a staunch supporter of Garbage Spies. Abusing your recycling systems should cost you! Inspired by their great deeds I did some private investigations today, at the recycling station in my house. Noted that several people have put non-coloured glass in the container for coloured glass and that there’s lots of plastic in the wrong places. Scandalous! I will be filing a report.

Supposed to be for coloured glass only

Supposed to be for coloured glass only

In the electronics bin, I found a vacuum cleaner, a television and a pair of speakers. Clearly someone’s been upgrading their gear. Was probably  necessary, the dumped television wasn’t even flat screen… And to finish off this first proper own post of mine, I’m most curious about other recycling cultures? Tell us in the comments section please!

Discarded television et. al.

Discarded television et. al.

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