In Sweden we have this system of recycling. Very Mature. We recycle all kind of stuff, newspapers (Yesterdays papers becomes tomorrows news), glass (dark ones in one container and the light ones in another.)
Hard plastic goes into one hole, soft plastic into another, cardboard, tree, metals, batteries, even bicycles are recycled. All this is done for free and because we love to do it.
But there is one area that differs: cans and bottles. Here we get 7 cents a can, and 15 – 30 cents depending on the size of the bottle.
Machines in the supermarket that reads bar codes manage all this recycling. Bar codes is a strange name by the way, in the perspective that beer bottles can get recycled, but empty wine and booze bottles goes into the glass holes, non refundable.
But – and we have buts in Sweden to – if there is no bar code, the machine spits out the bottle, rejected.
Now, the advantage of small children is obvious. The disadvantage is that they tend to chew most of their surroundings, and unlike machines, they don’t always spit out bar codes.
That’s why I wound up at the Willys superstore, with a rejected bottle that I should get money for but didn’t, cause a dumb machine couldn’t think.
And in front of me was a Mr. Head-Of-The-Machine-And-Plastic-juggle-recycling, (HOTMAP jr) who tried to convince me that he could think and that he was not dumb and that the machine was always right. Aaaalways right, he preached, and nodded.
So I had to go back home, the bottle in my hand, but shame the one who gives up, as a Swedish saying goes.
With the help of another bottle, some glue and a scanner, I could return in some hours and now the machine was my baby, and swallowed everything, leaving me with a receipt for 15 cent, to be collected at the cashier.
A week ago I would have said that this behavior is a bit crooked, but since the machine didn’t mind, and the HOTMAP jr had convinced me of the machines infallibility, I guess that everything is fine.