More destruction: Shredding the Futon

August 23, 2007 at 12:22 am | Posted in Austria | 3 Comments
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Yesterday I tore apart an entire bloody futon with a Korean kitchen knife (which worked excellently, thanks to the Austrio-Koreans!) and managed to squeeze the debris in three separate trash bags. Recycling in Austria is an often chosen essay topic for learners of German in London, I was told, and they do indeed go to great lengths when it comes to recycling here in Austria.

I used to have brown paper bags for organic waste which were collected weekly, yellow ones for packaging (excluding metal, collected every fortnight) and black ones for all the rest (collected every fortnight). Paper, metal and glass you have to take to a public garbage skip yourself.

For your garbage taxes you get six yellow bags which are always free, and three black 60l bags a year, and if you need more of those you have to pay for each of them (for the paper bags you have to pay anyway). I actually never used my black bags, and instead disposed of my ‘residual garbage’ (Restmüll) at work. There was no communal garbage collecting place in the house in which I lived, so the garbage (also the organic one!) would have had to live with me for one or two weeks. Right.

So now I had a total of twelve black bags on my hands – for 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 – and it looks as if I am going to need ALL of them. You may stick ANYTHING into these bags for as long as you manage to squeeze it in. And as I would have had to pay a whopping € 21,00 for any cubic meter of garbage that I brought to the municipality’s garbage dump myself (does not seem to make sense, does it?), I thought I better put my black bags to some use. Hence the futon had to be shredded.

Btw, if you have ever tried to carry a futon someplace, then you will now it feels like it is filled with mud. Trying carrying around a wet mud mattress for a while – it’s impossible. I used to think that it is the cotton that makes it so soggy – now I know better. A futon’s innards consist of both cotton AND rubber. Mine had an approximately 5 cm thick rubber mattress that looked like an oatcake and was the wobbliest thing I have ever tried to lift – so _that’s_ where the muddy texture comes from. And this precise rubbery thing is wedged between layers and layers of natural cotton – which is fun to tear apart, only that you end up looking teared and feathered, as the cotton rubs off easily. And you breathe it, too, which was not so agreeable.

I tried recycling some of the rubber and cotton myself and use it as a cleaning cloth, e.g. for windows and floors. Not recommended. If you ever cut up your futon, just throw its content away as is.

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3 Comments »

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  1. Taking a kitchen knife to the futon sounds cathartic. Having moved several futons, I’m inclined to think that a sharp knife might be the best solution.

  2. Kill the futon, kill the futon!

  3. First time i heard of someone recycling a futon,funny though


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