Despite being one of the world’s major exporters of oil, Norway itself is a very environmentally friendly nation, leading the way into alternative energy and climate change research. Power is hydro, electric cars are popular, and recycling forms a big part of everyday life and culture.
All bottles, both glass and plastic, and aluminium cans are recyclable. They can be recycled either by throwing into the recycling bins as part of the rubbish collection, or by bringing them into the recycling station and receiving a ,50 – 2,50 Kr (NZD $.15, -.60) rebate per item.
The recycling stations are situated inside supermarkets.
Supermarkets are prolific, and it seems regardless of where you live there will be one within a 5 minute walk from your home.
The locals take their recyclables into the supermarket, and feed it into the machine.
The machine, greedily sucks up what it is fed, scans it, and if approved sends it through the conveyor belt tube for processing. If the item is rejected, it will spit it back out at you.
Once, the machine is sufficiently nourished with your offerings, you hit the ‘done’ button, and receive a voucher for your items. Then you continue with your shopping, and at the checkout hand over the voucher which is then discounted from your purchasings.
It’s also a popular activity amongst the homeless/vagrants/druggies (Yes Norway does have homeless, Bergen has three we think, an older chap, and some younger toddies strung out on heroin). They collect the abandoned bottles and cans in parks (although this is not just limited to the homeless, I too may have done this), and then take them into the supermarket. For their efforts, they’ll receive enough supermarket money for a tasty lunch, or afternoon snack.
Recycling has never been so satisfying.