Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Daily life  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12.11.2007, 10:41
Salsa_Lover
 
Posts: n/a
The Wasting Culture

Today I came to work as I do often by train.

I do this in a maybe candid effort to save some energy, throw less CO2 to the air and save the planet.

As usual I take the S2 from Zürich to Richterswil and then take the bus 170 that takes me up the hill where the company is located...

Throughout all this year I have noticed that they had overdimensioned the bus fleet.

The bus that takes me up the hill is a full lenght bus with a capacity for around 30 seated people. But the bus is almost allways 66% empty, on a normal trayect, I haven't counted more than 10 people in the bus... sometimes I am alone with the driver.

So it often came to my mind, "what a waste, they could cover this bus line with a minibus", and doing so also they would save energy and polution as this big bus needs to burn a lot to pull me up the hill.

So here I am taking the bus to not burn CO2 all by myself on my car and I find myself burning a lot more in a heavy bus.

So finally lately they renew the fleet. they changed the buses and guess what ?
Now the 170 has an articulated double sized bus.

And as allways today there were only 8 people in the bus that now has doubled capacity !!!.

What go throught the minds of the people that plan and invest on the infrastructure ?

My sister, who is the municipality director of urban planning, when visiting me some years ago, qualified the experience of living in Switzerland as "The wasting culture"

Quote:
waste (wāst)
v., wast·ed, wast·ing, wastes.
v.tr.
To use, consume, spend, or expend thoughtlessly or carelessly.
That is, the people and the organisations here have money in excess so they just waste it and don't care about the excess they waste, not even thinking in how the need is so big in other parts of the world.

This in many aspects, like throwing away food, buying things that exceed our needs etc etc...

A friend of mine that worked at the migros, told me so... Do you know that the migros throw away almost one third of the food in display ? Yes. thrown away. And the employees are not allowed to get some of this food for them, nor is given to some charity organisation... it is just put on the garbage bin.

Instead of doing a better planning of how much food they need to suply the customers, what is easy to do with some basic statistics, they prefer to fill all the space avaliable, knowing that a lot of that food will be wasted.

many other examples could be cited.

what do you think about ?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 12.11.2007, 10:45
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The Waisting Culture

Probably RPK, load factors, maintenance life cycle costs. Fleet Management, vehicle capacity, route applicability and optimisation. Vehicle selection.

Dont be flattered by thinking they have a big bus just to take you up the hill. Its a commercial decision. I did a study once for aircraft fleet allocation. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

dave


Quote:
View Post
Throughout all this year I have noticed that they had overdimensioned the bus fleet.

The bus that takes me up the hill is a full lenght bus with a capacity for around 30 seated people. But the bus is almost allways 66% empty, on a normal trayect, I haven't counted more than 10 people in the bus... sometimes I am alone with the driver.

So it often came to my mind, "what a waste, they could cover this bus line with a minibus", and doing so also they would save energy and polution as this big bus needs to burn a lot to pull me up the hill.

So here I am taking the bus to not burn CO2 all by myself on my car and I find myself burning a lot more in a heavy bus.

So finally lately they renew the fleet. they changed the buses and guess what ?
Now the 170 has an articulated double sized bus.

And as allways today there were only 8 people in the bus that now has doubled capacity !!!.

What go throught the minds of the people that plan and invest on the infrastructure ?

What do you think about ?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 12.11.2007, 10:52
bozothedeathmachine's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Arni, AG
Posts: 325
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 178 Times in 83 Posts
bozothedeathmachine is considered knowledgeablebozothedeathmachine is considered knowledgeablebozothedeathmachine is considered knowledgeable
Re: The Waisting Culture

Also, do you go to work at exactly the same time every day? Could you be missing the peak when the bus is packed? I take a bus every morning at 7:25 and it's standing room only. If I catch the next one 15-30 minutes later, there are plenty of seats available.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12.11.2007, 11:03
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The Wasting Culture

Quote:
View Post
A friend of mine that worked at the migros, told me so... Do you know that the migros throw away almost one third of the food in display ? Yes. thrown away. And the employees are not allowed to get some of this food for them, nor is given to some charity organisation... it is just put on the garbage bin.

Instead of doing a better planning of how much food they need to suply the customers, what is easy to do with some basic statistics, they prefer to fill all the space avaliable, knowing that a lot of that food will be wasted.

many other examples could be cited.

what do you think about ?
Was the friend referring to the branch where he or she works or Migros in general? I read ages ago that supermarkets and restaurants cannot give food away to their employees which would otherwise be thrown away in case they make the employees sick which then puts the employer in a weak position legally. Maybe this isn't the case in Switzerland but can you imagine a bloody-minded employee in the US or the UK who develops salmonella after eating food that's gone off and has been offered by their employer?

Also, Migros and Coop reduce the prices of food which isn't selling (see the "Aktion" stickers with a % reduction).

I don't think Switzerland is any worse than many developed countries in food waste.

On the subject of buses, can they send the big bus down our end of Zürich? Our little puddle-jumper is bursting at the seams most mornings, and at 7.45 am, me and the pushchair are about as popular as a fart in a lift.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12.11.2007, 11:21
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The Wasting Culture

Quote:
View Post
So it often came to my mind, "what a waste, they could cover this bus line with a minibus", and doing so also they would save energy and polution as this big bus needs to burn a lot to pull me up the hill.
Interesting post, even more interesting statement above. Have this debate often with the "greenies" (no offence intended) i meet here.

It's fine to complain, but to actually allow yourself to be transported up the hill by the bus you so deplore is mind boggling. Surely the first step is making the conviction to walk up the hill
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12.11.2007, 11:52
dino's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,631
Groaned at 31 Times in 24 Posts
Thanked 1,279 Times in 628 Posts
dino has a reputation beyond reputedino has a reputation beyond reputedino has a reputation beyond reputedino has a reputation beyond reputedino has a reputation beyond repute
Re: The Wasting Culture

Salsalover

as DaveA pointed out above, there is more to this than meets the eye...

In this particular case, I can actually shed some light, being that I take the bus you mention, in the opposite direction most mornings
(From what you describe, I assume you work for Keso, right? I can see it from my kitchen)

At 0700 or 0730, there are about 50 to 70 schoolkids in that bus, and I often end up standing (and shoved around !) I seriously doubt they will fit in your minibus
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12.11.2007, 12:20
Salsa_Lover
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The Wasting Culture

Agreed about the kids...

but then why not use a minibus the day long and put out the big bus when you know the school kids will need it ?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12.11.2007, 12:23
Jekyll's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aargau
Posts: 885
Groaned at 35 Times in 26 Posts
Thanked 1,180 Times in 475 Posts
Jekyll has a reputation beyond reputeJekyll has a reputation beyond reputeJekyll has a reputation beyond reputeJekyll has a reputation beyond reputeJekyll has a reputation beyond reputeJekyll has a reputation beyond repute
Re: The Wasting Culture

Every evening there's a van outside our local Coop from a local homeless organisation....

Several bus routes around me operate minbuses in off peak hours but as Dave states, there are many other commercial factors to consider.

I seriously doubt that 1/3 of the food in Migros is binned. Some fruit and vegatables do get scrapped (composted) but the majority of other goods are sold at reduced prices as they get towards their expiry dates.

My view after 8 years : Switzerland is way agead of the competition but there's always room for improvement
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12.11.2007, 12:26
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The Wasting Culture

Bedtime reading

You have to understand that the bus does not exist on your route at the time you want purely to take you up the hill. How did it get there ? Where is it going next ? What is the the demand profile throughout the day/week/year ? How does it fit in with the rest of the bus fleet ?

dave

Quote:
View Post
Agreed about the kids...

but then why not use a minibus the day long and put out the big bus when you know the school kids will need it ?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12.11.2007, 12:38
Nairda's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 354
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 147 Times in 79 Posts
Nairda has made some interesting contributions
Re: The Wasting Culture

Quote:
View Post
Agreed about the kids...

but then why not use a minibus the day long and put out the big bus when you know the school kids will need it ?
Return on capital.
It makes more "sense" to run a big bus half empty than to sit it in the garage and buy another smaller bus for the less busy times.
Pollution etc is a cost free externality so doesn't figure.

However, you could also argue that it's more environmentally friendly to get the most usage out of the larger bus given the resources that have gone into its manufacture than to have two types of buses running one route.

Equally, one could argue that it is greener to maintain and run an old less efficient and more polluting bus than to scrap it and buy a new one given the physical resources and energy used in its construction and the need to dispose of the old bus.

Anyway, if everyone could see that the bus was always rammed full to capacity there would be no incentive for anyone to switch from their cars and the complaints corner would be full of people arguing that they should put bigger buses on, I guess .
__________________
"What was the rude word?" "Was it really? Good heavens, you frighten me to death." - Bill Grundy.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12.11.2007, 12:52
AbFab's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 8,701
Groaned at 383 Times in 263 Posts
Thanked 13,080 Times in 4,481 Posts
AbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond repute
Re: The Wasting Culture

Salsa Lover - you are commuting backwards, love.

The world is commuting from Richterswill to Zurich each morning and back again at night - hence the big bus. Try it the right way round and see how full the bus is...

Also before you grumble at what Migros throws out, what about McDonald's policy of throwing away the cooked food if not sold within minutes?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12.11.2007, 13:03
Salsa_Lover
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The Wasting Culture

I heard rumors that Migros and Coop are doing an effort to reduce waste.

This is made by using the food that is on its last day on the Migros/Coop restaurants. This is what is called "warm buffet"

That is why it costs less to buy something cooked at the Migros warm buffet restaurant than buying the ingredients and cooking it yourself at home.

Have you heard about this ?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12.11.2007, 13:29
xaphod's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 175
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 92 Times in 24 Posts
xaphod has earned some respectxaphod has earned some respect
Re: The Wasting Culture

heh, "Wasting Culture"? Just moved from the states... switzerland is completely green in comparison!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12.11.2007, 14:12
Nathu's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Zürich
Posts: 4,521
Groaned at 18 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 2,208 Times in 1,248 Posts
Nathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond reputeNathu has a reputation beyond repute
Re: The Wasting Culture

Quote:
View Post
That is why it costs less to buy something cooked at the Migros warm buffet restaurant than buying the ingredients and cooking it yourself at home.
Have you made a price comparision in a Migros or Coop restaurant/store?

Here's the Google cache HTML version of a .doc file of a paper from some Lucerne economy students who contacted the Migros PR department on the topic of ethics and expiration dates in 2004. Migros states that they give unsellable goods to employees at reduced prices. Expired foods get composted, fed to pigs or progressed to pet food. Migros donates food to charity at least in Lucerne and has a Biogas facility in Zurich to fuel its lorries. Migros claims that on principle no foods get wasted. The students conclude that they can neither prove nor disprove that the shop uses early expiration dates to unethically sell more goods (but then again the paper looks like an undergrad finger exercise).

Coop donates old food to charity, too (source).

Quote:
View Post
many other examples could be cited.

what do you think about ?
I think cite more examples.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Nathu for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 12.11.2007, 16:05
krlock3's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 3,123
Groaned at 48 Times in 35 Posts
Thanked 2,431 Times in 1,156 Posts
krlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond reputekrlock3 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: The Wasting Culture

hi salsa lover

another factor is that it is important to offer extensive public transport options, that is, regular running buses even if they are sometimes empty. The reason being is that the public then perceive, correctly as it turns out, that public transport is always available. The second important factor is that it is affordable.

If this was not the case, then people would not trust that they can effectively use public transport, but they must have a reliable way to move about... therefore it is likely that they would find alternative reliable means of transport, i.e. normally a car.

Coming from england, i see this illustrated very clearly. Our English public transport system is quite unreliable and expensive, therefore people often choose not to use it if they can. This leads to even emptier public transport and higher prices again as operators try to make a profit. Its a vicious circle.

Of course, thats just one extra element of the equation. Public transport is a very complex thing to get right, as some of the other members comments have indicated. The fact is that Switzerland has what is widely regarded to be the benchmark for a well run public transport system.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12.11.2007, 21:17
solidsnake
 
Posts: n/a
Re: The Wasting Culture

Obviously you have never lived in the USA. If you call Switzerland a wasting culture, then you would have a heart attack if you visited the US. I produce maybe 1 bag of rubbish per week here, if that; in the US it could easily be 2 or 3 giant bags per week. The lifestyle here is much less consumer driven. I understand your concerns about the large bus, but transport system planning is seldom done at random. There is a reason for that bus that outweighs the cost benefit of having a mini bus in addition to or instead of the large bus. Transport planning is a very complex field and the Swiss have some of the best institutes (ETH Zurich, EPFL) in the world for research in that field.
The Swiss are head and shoulders above most countries when it comes to public transport with the exception of Japan perhaps.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
wastage, waste




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ASEAN Culture Day in Bern nksyoon Social events 1 14.09.2007 09:13
Culture Vultures Polorise Social events 2 28.05.2007 13:54
Culture Shock Game Guest Daily life 1 01.05.2007 21:27


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 22:01.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0