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Old 24.12.2012, 14:43
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Opinions needed - cardboard violation

Hi all,

Need some opinions on the severity/legitimacy of a complaint raised by one neighbour recently.

Having moved to the Buelach area of Zurich a few months ago, I have been quite relieved and happy with the neighbours here, as I have read quite a few stories of neighbours from hell in Switzerland on this forum. The wife and I have found out about all the rules we can and followed them all strictly. The Swiss neighbours in our block and the neighbouring block are all very nice and they always help advising us on whatever rules there are.

One thing we seem to have missed is the Cardboard recycling plans, frequently we see the neighbours leave their card boards stacked loosely next to the usual bins. After calling the Geminde and having spoken to a lady who spoke some English, I was told to just "leave it next to the metal bin", which she repeated when I asked her when do we leave it next to the bin. It didn't seem to be like a big deal, so we put it tightly into a paper bag and next to the bin. This was fine for couple of months until yesterday.

I was out of the house when the wife opened the door to a German speaking middle aged lady who looked like she wanted a fight, we got to know all our neighbours in our block and the next closest block, my wife never met this lady before. She had the bag of cardboard I left out and she immediately started speaking German in an angry volume, after a while she realised my wife could only speak English so she explained that one cannot leave the cardboards out whilst not on a collection date, must be on the date, not even the night before, and must be tied with ropes, not in a paper bag. This we appreciate her for telling us, if not for her attitude, plus the 2013 rubbish collection plan just came in the post, which we didn't know about before.

Being someone who avoid conflicts, my wife apologised again and again saying we did not know, won't happen again etc. This lady then went on saying things on the lines of "that it is always you people coming into our beautiful country and makes a mess of the place", my wife has been too shocked by this ordeal to remember her exact words. The lady went on saying that "It is always you number 1 and number 3 block that is making our street look bad", 1 is the neighbour block and 3 is my block, a good mix of locals and foreigners in these two blocks. Finally she mentioned that "if this happened again, I will call the police".

Both of us now know when and how to take the cardboards out, but we wonder, how severe is it really to misplace Cardboard here in Zurich/Switzerland, what would this matter really be police worthy, what would the police say if we ever get blamed for cardboard left not by us. I packed the cardboards into the paper bag tightly and placed the bag tightly between the bin and the brick sidewall, there was no chance of it going everywhere and "making the street look bad".

And how in the world did she know the cardboard was mine, or which name on the doorbells to press... she did have disposable gloves on, we know the groundskeeper/cleaner and that's not her, could she be some neighbourhood watch or do the people here generally like to keep constant watch of the people outside their window? I certainly hope that's not the case as I do not like the idea of people constantly watching what my wife does when she's at home alone, we already know two blocks of neighbours but our balcony along with our bin area faces some other building blocks.

Please excuse my long winded description of this short ordeal, we'd really like any opinions or similar experiences you have as we are concerned that we might have violated something big and end up on the watchful neighbours' 'black list'.


Thanks,
Dong
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Old 24.12.2012, 14:52
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

I have attached some files ( sorry, all in German ) that might be useful ( found when searched under Entsorgung and Karton within www.buelach.ch )
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Abfallkalender_2012_web.pdf (1.74 MB, 203 views)
File Type: pdf Abfallkalender_2013_web.pdf (1.87 MB, 120 views)
File Type: pdf flyer_kartonsammlung.pdf (647.4 KB, 44 views)
File Type: pdf 120424_43_070502_Vollziehungsverordnung_Abfall_Stadt_Buelach_bf.pdf (33.5 KB, 38 views)
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Old 24.12.2012, 14:52
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

I think she's technically right that cardboard shouldn't really be in paper bags.

But it seems to bother a few busybodies far more than it bothers the collection guys. And at the end of the day, it's them that count.

We expats will always be at a disadvantage, because the locals appear to have had 12 years of "Tying things up neatly" lessons. They somehow manage to get their rubbish looking far neater than any Christmas present I've ever sent.
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Old 24.12.2012, 14:57
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

thanks v much for the files, we got the 2013 abfallkalender in the post today, the wife is just google translating it page by page on the other pc
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:04
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

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They somehow manage to get their rubbish looking far neater than any Christmas present I've ever sent.
lol! I'm sure the mrs can do the neat packings too. she's just feeling guilty she might've done something horribly bad, to warrant threat of police. Or was that lady just simply taking her dislike of "all you people" out on my wife? is there such a thing as a neighbourhood commitee? i hope so, otherwise it means there are neighbours constantly watching us.....
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:17
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

Sorry about your bad experience.

Threatening to involve the police is pretty common here. It doesnt mean you have commited a major crime so try to not take it too seriously. The police here are used to getting involved in these sorts of disagreements and from what i can tell are regularly used in switzerland as mediators for petty neighborly disputes. my sister in law had the police called on her for showering after 11, my neighbors had the police show up when her kids play noise disturbed the downstairs neighbors. I was in the park once where i witnessed a fight over a ball and the police were called in. that was a true "only in switzerlaand" moment. "Hello officer.This harmless, middle aged woman kicked our vollyball in the lake. Here we have our witnesses lined up ready to give a statement."
Next time you are threatened with the police, take her up on the offer. They will probably be more pleasant to deal with than she is and you can have them request she stops harrassing you.
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:19
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

We don't separate cardboard from paper around here, paper is paper.

Still can't convince my wife that plastic is not paper, though (and she's a local).

Tom

Last edited by st2lemans; 24.12.2012 at 15:31.
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:22
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

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Or was that lady just simply taking her dislike of "all you people" out on my wife?
It takes a special kind of person to be a busybody asshat.

Put it this way, if something mildly rulebreaking on the street irritated you, could you be bothered hunting down the perpetrator, getting into their building, knocking on their door and having a rant about paragraph 149, subsection 3.4 of the local waste laws?
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:27
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

There are fines for leaving rubbish lying around on the street, in some cities there are even fines for dropping a cigarette end. She was a bit severe, as you did leave it tidily next to the metal trash bins.

The unknown lady witch was correct, and now you have the rubbish timetable you know which days which type of stuff is taken away. Note in some towns paper is collected separately from cardboard.

The ban on card in a paper bag is because when the bin men pick up the bag, the bottom might be wet, and all the cardboard would probably fall onto the street, and the bin men do not want to stop and clean it up...

Before I knew this, I had no problem putting my paper in an old paper supermarket bag, out on the pavement. Then one day I came back before the collection was made, and discovered one of my neighbours had tied the bag handles together with a short piece of string! (I am shaking my head slowly, left to right... get a life neighbour!)
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:33
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

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Hi all,

Need some opinions on the severity/legitimacy of a complaint raised by one neighbour recently.

Having moved to the Buelach area of Zurich a few months ago, I have been quite relieved and happy with the neighbours here, as I have read quite a few stories of neighbours from hell in Switzerland on this forum. The wife and I have found out about all the rules we can and followed them all strictly. The Swiss neighbours in our block and the neighbouring block are all very nice and they always help advising us on whatever rules there are.

One thing we seem to have missed is the Cardboard recycling plans, frequently we see the neighbours leave their card boards stacked loosely next to the usual bins. After calling the Geminde and having spoken to a lady who spoke some English, I was told to just "leave it next to the metal bin", which she repeated when I asked her when do we leave it next to the bin. It didn't seem to be like a big deal, so we put it tightly into a paper bag and next to the bin. This was fine for couple of months until yesterday.

I was out of the house when the wife opened the door to a German speaking middle aged lady who looked like she wanted a fight, we got to know all our neighbours in our block and the next closest block, my wife never met this lady before. She had the bag of cardboard I left out and she immediately started speaking German in an angry volume, after a while she realised my wife could only speak English so she explained that one cannot leave the cardboards out whilst not on a collection date, must be on the date, not even the night before, and must be tied with ropes, not in a paper bag. This we appreciate her for telling us, if not for her attitude, plus the 2013 rubbish collection plan just came in the post, which we didn't know about before.

Being someone who avoid conflicts, my wife apologised again and again saying we did not know, won't happen again etc. This lady then went on saying things on the lines of "that it is always you people coming into our beautiful country and makes a mess of the place", my wife has been too shocked by this ordeal to remember her exact words. The lady went on saying that "It is always you number 1 and number 3 block that is making our street look bad", 1 is the neighbour block and 3 is my block, a good mix of locals and foreigners in these two blocks. Finally she mentioned that "if this happened again, I will call the police".

Both of us now know when and how to take the cardboards out, but we wonder, how severe is it really to misplace Cardboard here in Zurich/Switzerland, what would this matter really be police worthy, what would the police say if we ever get blamed for cardboard left not by us. I packed the cardboards into the paper bag tightly and placed the bag tightly between the bin and the brick sidewall, there was no chance of it going everywhere and "making the street look bad".

And how in the world did she know the cardboard was mine, or which name on the doorbells to press... she did have disposable gloves on, we know the groundskeeper/cleaner and that's not her, could she be some neighbourhood watch or do the people here generally like to keep constant watch of the people outside their window? I certainly hope that's not the case as I do not like the idea of people constantly watching what my wife does when she's at home alone, we already know two blocks of neighbours but our balcony along with our bin area faces some other building blocks.

Please excuse my long winded description of this short ordeal, we'd really like any opinions or similar experiences you have as we are concerned that we might have violated something big and end up on the watchful neighbours' 'black list'.


Thanks,
Dong
Technically she was correct but it was not necessary to inform you in such an agressive fashion.
Sadly the world is full of nutters.

I did have a neighbour who would race out of her house & scream at me if our dog piddled anywhere nearby. My wife would get quite upset if she was the one on duty but I would just wish the neighbour a nice day (or evening or whatever) & move on.
Eventually the neighbour was diagnosed with some form of dementia & got put away in a home.

I looked up the rules for Bülach & apparently putting cardboard in paper bags is forbidden but it is OK to put it in a cardboard box; who knew?

Also if I read it correctly you can take dead animals to Werkhof Furt if you are ever in this situation....




Werkhof Furt
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:43
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

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Sorry about your bad experience.

Threatening to involve the police is pretty common here. It doesnt mean you have commited a major crime so try to not take it too seriously. The police here are used to getting involved in these sorts of disagreements and from what i can tell are regularly used in switzerland as mediators for petty neighborly disputes. my sister in law had the police called on her for showering after 11, my neighbors had the police show up when her kids play noise disturbed the downstairs neighbors. I was in the park once where i witnessed a fight over a ball and the police were called in. that was a true "only in switzerlaand" moment. "Hello officer.This harmless, middle aged woman kicked our vollyball in the lake. Here we have our witnesses lined up ready to give a statement."
Next time you are threatened with the police, take her up on the offer. They will probably be more pleasant to deal with than she is and you can have them request she stops harrassing you.
Thanks for your advice, guess calling the police could have been a good thing. Just wanted to know how serious this is as my wife says she has never been spoken to with that kind of attitude in her life. I admit we did wrong and we are quick to correct ourselves, if she just told us in a normal voice, we'd have done anything to correct our mistakes. Now when the mrs sees an unknown neighbour she gets nervous and worries if they will fire off on her for something, anything she did wrong.

I can appreciate she is proud of her country, seen from her saying things like "once a month cardboard collection is already more than enough, other countries don't even have this", but her ignorance and stereotyping certainly isn't appreciated. We won't discriminate anybody because of her, we have plenty of good local neighbours, just hope she's not a representation of the other neighbour groups or I will really have to consider moving away or back to the UK where ironically cardboard is collected every week.
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Old 24.12.2012, 15:45
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

Your name is "Dong"?

Maybe the old lady wasn't commenting about the cardboard .....?
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Old 24.12.2012, 16:16
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

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Your name is "Dong"?

Maybe the old lady wasn't commenting about the cardboard .....?
yes sir, that is what the British call me after 15 years of growing up there as they can't pronounce my full name, one cannot choose what their parent and grandfather names them. Though I'd be quite disturbed if the not so old lady already did a background check on me and dislike my short name
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Old 24.12.2012, 16:18
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

thanks all for your replies, i'll let the mrs know that she can relax a bit, already got the right type of rope for those cardboards in future
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Old 24.12.2012, 16:24
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

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Your name is "Dong"?

Maybe the old lady wasn't commenting about the cardboard .....?
She went ding dong at his door.

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Old 24.12.2012, 16:29
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

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She went ding dong at his door.

Haha! You are correct, though only partially. According to my wife, the lady ding...dong'd the door bell, then immediately followed on with dingdingdingdingdingding. I guess my mistake has caused much distress to her or that she was in a rush to unleash on someone...
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Old 24.12.2012, 16:32
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

Forgot it's xmas eve, Merry Christmas all, appreciate your dedication to the forum. Off to prepare dinner now.
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Old 24.12.2012, 16:35
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

Well consider yourself lucky. Here we have NO refuse/rubbish collections whatsoever. Nil, zilch, zero, nought, nothing. All recyclables have to be sorted and taken to the right containers placed at 3 different locations in the village, and full bins/sacks delivered to the Mollock containers, weight and paid for. People complained bitterly at first- but now it is all working fine and people have got used to it.
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Old 24.12.2012, 16:42
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

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thanks all for your replies, i'll let the mrs know that she can relax a bit, already got the right type of rope for those cardboards in future
As I mentioned in Bülach you do not have to tie the cardboard; you can simply put it in a cardboard box - quote "
Den Karton entweder mit Schnur gebündelt oder gefaltet in einer Kartonschachtel"

Myself I would use the box simply to annoy the neighbour
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Old 24.12.2012, 16:43
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Re: Opinions needed - cardboard violation

Here they refuse to take paper/cardboard unless tied up neatly with string. If you package it neatly in a box or paper bag they will simply leave it with a big green sticker on it. I also once I put some of the free news papers from the mail box underneath a few bundles of other peoples paper, thinking that would hold them down until collection time. They took the bundles and left my untied papers. When I came home, there was newspapers blowing all around the street. I guess when you do such a boring job, the only authority you can demonstrate, is leaving a green sticker and not taking the paper.
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