Yet what about those of us that have eschewed the car altogether (or those of us that dream of doing so)? The dead batteries and other recyclable flotsam and jetsam builds up under sinks and overflows storage bins. That's why Samlaren (Collector), designed by a student at Chalmers Technical University, is such a great idea. Swedes are already used to bringing glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans to the grocery store to return for deposit. Trucks from the private municipal garbage service must pick up those bottles and cans, so it makes perfect sense for four selected Konsum Coop stores in Gothenburg's inner city to also allow you to drop off old batteries and light bulbs and appliances small enough to fit in Samlare's intake shutes.
While Sweden's consumption of small electronics has skyrocketed, recycling has stagnated. There's no national system of recycling - each municipality handles takeback of paper, cans, plastic and hazardous waste differently. While in some parts of the country there's a fee to turn in waste, in Gothenburg it's free, whether it's a trip to Alelycka's drive-through recycle center or a walk-away drop-off before the regular grocery shopping. The city will try out Samlaren for four months before evaluating its costs. Via ::Chalmers