Recycling in Zurich?

Stephanie's picture
By Stephanie - Posted on
25 August 2011
I keep reading things telling me that i'll have to recycle in Zurich, and that if not, I'll end up paying a lot for trash bags. Can anyone explain this, and explain how recycling i Zurich works. Here in South Africa you  have to take your recycling to special points around the city, if you want it collected you have to pay a private service.
DavidC's picture
Last seen: 7 years 40 weeks ago
Joined: 06/04/2011

Ok, the way trash and recycling in Zurich work is as follows. There's a tax associated with the price of garbage bags, thus the bags are expensive. There's different prices associated with different sized, and the larger the bag the more costly it is. So, if you produce a lot of trash, you'll end up paying for it. That's the Swiss way of saying RECYCLE, RECYLCE, RECYLCE.

You can bring your aluminum and glass to big blue bins in your neighbourhood. Curbside pick-up is provided for cardboard, paper and textiles. You'll need to find out your recycling and waste disposal schedule - to do so  you can go to this web site -, or you can ask a neighbour.

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Anonymous's picture

Hi Stephanie
We are South Africans, lived in the UK for the last 6 years and are now relocating to Zurich as a family. Any crucial pointers or things to prepare in advance?

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Stephanie's picture
Last seen: 6 years 45 weeks ago
Joined: 19/04/2010

Living in:
Cape Town, South Africa

Charlotte, North Carolina (the USA)

Stephanie's Website
Hi Ronel-

The number one thing to prepare for when relocating to Zurich is the completely ridiculously high uber astronomical cost of living. If you've been in the UK the last 6 years at least you won't have to deal with the bad habit of converting everything back to South African Rand in your head - BAD IDEA. 

All I can say is try and calculate a comprehensive budget for yourself beforehand and make sure the contract you negotiated not only covers all anticipated costs, but has plenty of leeway to pay lots of unforseen costs - you'll have tons. Also, start searching for accommodation now, and be prepared for the fact that rentals are not awarded on a first come first serve basis. Rather estate agents will select the most qualified applicant. Thus, it would be in your best interest to collect recommendations from former estate agents/landlords in the UK, to provide old payslips, and basically as much information as possible with your application.

Otherwise, there's definitely some nuances you'll need to adapt to, but there's a reason Zurich was rated one of the best cities in the world to live in. 

For more information you should definitely have a look at the Expat Arrivals Guide to Zurich
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