The Story With The Compost Bin

Moving houses after splitting households always means you need to buy a few things for your new home. I was very eager to go find myself a compost bin (yes, I’m a recycling freak! Read more about it here) and happily collected one a few days ago on a big shopping day.

watermarked-tn_compost bin 1
no room for the green compost bin 😦

The disappointment that crashed upon me when I realized it was actually too big for it to fit in the cupboard next to my trash bin was immense… I thought the Swiss were so well organized that there was a regular standard size in compost bins because in all the stores I went to I only ever saw the one size… I tried to squeeze it in but there was no way it would get to the big enough space behind the narrow hole. Whoever designed the kitchen had clearly no clue about recycling compost bins…^^ I then tried to leave the bright green bin underneath the kitchen table, wanting it to vanish and hide but catching a glimpse of it every time I sat down to eat, which didn’t make me happy either…

It really unnerved me – this was not my vision I had when I started with the Konmari method. My goal and vision was to have empty floors and nothing cluttering them. I don’t mind the paper recycling container as it sparks joy in a very weird way (maybe reminding me that I’m so glad I can be recycling all these papers? *lol*) but there’s only one corner underneath the kitchen table that can hide things, anything else behind it slowly makes its way to your visible space and it’s just not sparking joy. I also thought about leaving the container bin out on my balcony but then I though about me sitting in the balcony and relaxing in the sun… and catching an eye of the rather unfancy green compost bin, in worst case, even smelling it…

No, that’s not how I want to spend my sunny days out it my new balcony. That’s not my vision of a nice uncluttered space. So I needed to get rid of the bin – best to take it back since it was only a few days back that I had bought it and brought home.watermarked-tn_my new balcony

I then went back to the store with the receipt and straight onto the information desk. A rather unfriendly and very local woman attended to me and I explained her the issue. She wasn’t really paying attention anymore and started to look at the ticket and proceeding the action of taking back the bin. I was happy. Until she asked me for some sticker that was on the bin when sold…^^ Yes, that sticker who is always the first one to be ripped off and thrown away after you buy something new… I hadn’t been using the bin, but I did not think of the sticker anymore and explained it to her and in a distant tone she told me that she couldn’t take it back because that darn sticker was missing (in other words…). I pointed out that the bin was in a perfect condition and only bought a few days before that, which she could see in the receipt. She kept on ranting about it in a distantly polite way and proceeded to work on something on the computer with my receipt… After a while she had it figured out and handed me my cash back.

What was the fuss all about? – I thought to myself, since she clearly was able to take it back anyhow. I was happy, once more, and thanked her for helping me out when she let out another (polite!) rant about how she now had to discard the bin because they can’t sell it anymore. I was flabbergasted at the whole situation… Surely they could get another sticker from their storage areas or use another one when selling? I mean, how many times have I bought something without a darn sticker / bar code on it and therefore just another same item was scanned in order to proceed the sale? It’s not as it is an impossible issue… I tried to explain that to her but she wouldn’t listen and kept repeating that she can’t do anything about it. I then said she could at least give it to someone for free but she wouldn’t have any of it…

I left the store feeling utterly bad and guilty… Now I  was the cause of some unnecessary waste – me, that always tries to avoid that… Me, that always brings things you can still use to a Brocki / Charity Shop in order for them to be re-used, specially if the items are new and in perfect condition… Would it not have been better to not get the money back and bring it to the Brocki instead? On the other hand, why do I have to feel guilty if a store isn’t able to manage such things in another way?

I felt absolutely torn about this whole issue and wonder – what do you think about it? How would you have reacted?

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9 thoughts on “The Story With The Compost Bin

  1. Sorry to hear about that. I totally get you. I have no advice, sadly, because I’m the type of person who somehow invites abuse, so I rarely succeed in returning something or otherwise standing up for myself. I measure everything before I buy anything, which is of course an advice that comes too late! If I were you, I would probably be mad at myself and the world and give the bin to someone or leave it out next to rubbish bins for someone to take… Like you, I’d have serious issues with just letting the bin sit somewhere randomly in the flat, or even at the balcony (which looks great, by the way!). Well, good luck with this all…

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    1. Thank you Mara for your words. Yes, I was quite mad and yes, a bit at myself as well since I just assumed it would fit^^… I just found the whole situation quite unnerving, the behaviour of the lady or more – her comments, just plainly unneccessary… But maybe she was just having a long bad day. Anyhow… do YOU have the bin in the balcony 🙂 ? I sometimes see it outside the kitchen windows in houses or flats. My windowsill is too narrow though and I’m too high up to risk putting it out there alas 😉

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      1. I admit I don’t have a composting bin – we don’t have this recycling option in my area – but I’m lucky to have plastic baskets for paper, plastic and glass recycling that fit my cupboard perfectly… It’s not baskets sold as recycling bins, it’s regular multipurpose baskets. I found that the bins intended specifically for recycling are too small and too bulky at the same time, so not suitable for my household.

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      2. …I know – I remember those from your post very well…! They inspired me to do that here as well – I didn’t buy them just for the purpose, I used some not so nice looking red plastic container for the regular recycling things and a cardboard box for cardboard. But I keep remembering how nice your cupboard looked like with those containers… 😉

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