New Auburn Mayor Roger Becker believes residents of our county, state, and country have a lot to learn from Sweden about recycling.
Becker has traveled to Sweden twice, to visit his daughter Wendy, who lives and works there. During his most recent trip to Sweden, in May, his daughter arranged for him to tour a recycling center in Bollebygd, which is approximately the size of Glencoe.
New Auburn Mayor Roger Becker demonstrates how plastic bottles are recycled by a machine at grocery stores in Sweden. Once the bottles are recycled, the customers are given a rebate, that can be redeemed for groceries. – Submitted photo
Becker told the Hub that during his first trip to Sweden, he was impressed that there were no plastic bottles in road ditches, like is often seen around here. “You don’t see garbage along the roadways. It is perfectly clean.”
In Sweden, you pay a small fee when purchasing plastic bottles, and you will receive the fee back when it is returned to the store. Becker said that while he was there, he returned plastic bottles in a machine at the grocery store. When he returned the bottles, he received a ticket, which was then deducted from his grocery bill.
In Sweden you receive one Krona (crown) or about 15¢ for a small plastic bottle, and two Krona or about 30¢ for a liter bottle.
Becker was given a tour of the 10 acre recycling station by members of Bollebygd’s parliament, which is like the city council here. At the recycling station, the public can bring tree limbs which they will grind for mulch. The public can also bring appliances and other items.
In Bollebygd, a pipeline is being installed in the middle of the streets that will supply water that is already heated by the methane gas generated from recycling. The heated water will be supplied to the nursing home and homes for the elderly.
Becker said he wants to share the information he learned with legislators. “There are new ways to get things done,” he said.