Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let's recycle!

A few weeks ago I went to the container park for the first time. That's what everyone calls the municipal recycling center, although the correct word for it in Dutch apparently is "recyclagepark."

There's some curbside pickup here in Hasselt, mainly for green waste (and regular trash, of course). But for most household recycling, you have to bring it to the container park yourself. I'd been hearing about this place for months and was curious about how it works. So I was pretty excited when I finally had the chance to go and see for myself!

We went on a Saturday morning, having loaded up the car with our bottles, cans, cardboard and styrofoam (left over from IKEA furniture purchases). You have to insert your Belgian identity card at the gate in order to get in, and then you drive in and park your car. There were lots of other cars there already, disgorging fellow residents and their recyclables.

There were some city workers there to help things along, but for the most part everyone was bringing their own recycling to the correct dumpster or compacter. It was so orderly and organized! There were separate collection points for paper and cardboard, clear and colored glass, and PMD, which stands for Plastic bottles, Metal cans and Drink cartons.

 Needless to say, I was very impressed with how well the system seems to work, especially since it's all self-service. I'm sure the other people dropping off their recycling thought I was mad, taking pictures of trash. But I was having a great time! Recycling in Belgium is fun!

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