Recycling and handling of waste
Emergency numbers and other important addresses
In order to feel at home in Switzerland, it is important to participate in social and cultural life and to have some knowledge of what makes the country tick. Living in Switzerland is a privilege for most residents and newcomers. It is safe, quiet and clean. In addition, everything is well organized and the standard of living is correspondingly high. Zurich is one of the cities with the highest quality of life in the world.
The Swiss prefer to buy their groceries and other everyday items from these Swiss providers:
for brand lovers
for Swiss traditional goods
for the price conscious
for the price conscious
for the price conscious and for wine and tobacco lovers
Traditionally, Coop and Migros are among the biggest retailers of groceries in Switzerland. Both also offer a top home delivery service. In addition to its own products, Coop also sells many brand-name products, including alcohol and tobacco, whereas Migros sells an alcohol-free and tobacco-free range and mainly its own products. Denner, which has evolved into a market leader in the sale of good wine at reasonable prices, is to be recommended for wine, alcohol and tobacco.
The recycling rate for Swiss household waste has doubled in the last twenty years and is more than 50 % today. Even though Switzerland is thus above the European average of around 30 %, it is however one of the biggest producers of waste in Europe.
The waste management industry in Switzerland is based on the polluter pays principle as regards refuse and bulky items. Everyone pays for what they throw away. Refuse bags are taxed with a charge per bag in most municipalities, and a few municipalities use customary bags and chargeable stickers for sticking on them. In every municipality, you can buy refuse bags and stickers in any stores on request at the till or over the counter as well as at the Post Office (one roll of ten bags costs up to CHF 26 depending on the size).
The official collection points have separate recycling stations where you can separately dispose of recycling material such as glass bottles, PET bottles and plastic bottles, paper, metal cans, batteries and textiles. PET and plastic bottles as well as batteries can also be returned in grocery stores and other stores, usually deposit-free. On certain days, paper and cardboard can be left bundled by the side of the road where they are collected by municipality workers. The waste collection dates are issued by each municipality in their own waste calendars, which are sent to residents annually. Big bulky items such as furniture made out of wood, plastic or metal, mattresses, carpets, electrical appliances etc. can also be disposed of at the recycling centre or at the collection point.
Everyone has their own needs, priorities and principles and knows how to fulfil these in their own way. Thanks to the extensive and varied range of leisure and cultural opportunities in Switzerland, there is something for everyone. Unspoilt, beautiful Switzerland, with its picturesque hills, mountains, valleys and lakes, forests, villages and cities offers countless opportunities to spend your leisure time at wonderful places. It is not surprising that the Swiss have always been a nature-loving people.
Find out more about Switzerland:
Every city has its own tourist office for offerings specific to its location. Simply enter your city into your search engine and the term «tourism», and you will make a find.
Zurich’s night life is well known and offers the biggest and brightest partying opportunities in the whole of Switzerland. Click on the link – the website is worth a visit.
Network with other expatriates and make new contacts with companions who are away internationally like you. This could perhaps also help you to feel a little more «at home».
Here are some interesting addresses that facilitate contacts with like-minded persons:
For great tips and nice insights, we recommend that you follow the following profiles on Instagram:
REGA air rescue service
Road emergency service
+41 44 266 71 11
+41 44 255 11 11
+41 44 215 44 44
+41 44 266 62 22
+41 52 266 21 21
+41 52 267 01 01
+41 800 33 66 55
+41 44 360 44 44
Other medical clinics (“permanences”) and doctors can be found at Medbase.
COVID-19 information can be obtained from the website of the Bundesamt für Gesundheit (BAG) [Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)].