Noisy neighbours, long hiking trails, dog waste bins

Robidog is an iconic Swiss invention. Here is one specimen on a hiking trail near Vals. Photo: Keystone


Switzerland is a nation of tenants – and noisy neighbours. Some 49 per cent of the country’s apartment dwellers admit that they get irritated by the racket next door (Homegate survey, 2020). Use of the shared laundry room is the second most common, but more classically Swiss, source of conflict (18 per cent) – as immortalised in the novel “Der Waschküchenschlüssel” (The laundry room key); Hugo Loetscher, 1998, Diogenes Verlag.

65 000

Annoyed by the neighbours? Go hiking. More and more people have been discovering the delights of Switzerland’s 65,000-kilometre hiking trail network this year. If the country’s entire population were spread out evenly along all these trails in single file, everyone would remain socially distanced seven metres apart.

39 600 000

The Swiss tourist board Switzerland Tourism reported record figures for the month of July: 39.6 million overnight stays. Too good to be true? Unfortunately, yes: these are the figures for July 2019. Thanks to COVID-19, the current holiday season may break the wrong sort of records.


Another coronavirus statistic: 99 per cent of Swiss SMEs and start-ups have been negatively affected by the pandemic, according to the Berne University of Applied Sciences. Eleven per cent say that COVID-19 threatens their very existence.

40 000

Finally, some doggy-related business. Robidog – the Swiss-produced dog waste disposal system featuring an in-built waste bag dispenser – was patented in 1981. Around 40,000 of these contraptions can be found all around Switzerland. However, the dog waste bin has become a victim of its own success: its numbers are shrinking, because dog owners have become more conscientious in picking up and disposing of their pooch’s mess.


Compiled by: MUL

Comments (1)
  • Ernst Ruetimann, Trang, Thailand
    Ernst Ruetimann, Trang, Thailand at 18.10.2020
    Das freut mich, dass vermehrt Hundehalter die Hinterlassenschaft ihrer Vierbeiner einsammeln. Würde nur mit dem Alltagsmüll auch so gehandelt. Die Betrachtung der Umwelt zeigt aber ein anderes Bild. "Aus den Augen aus dem Sinn" ist die moderne Devise vieler Leute. Viele Gäste der Schweiz sagen, es sei sauber im Land. Das ist nur, weil da mehr und öfter geputzt wird als anderswo. Auch das Aufstellen von zusätzlichen Abfallcontainern bring nichts, wenn diese nicht öfter geleert werden. Hier in Thailand ist es extrem. Wenn nicht regelmässig ums Haus herum zusammengekehrter Unrat verbotenerweise verbrannt wird, endet vieles von dem Plastikzeugs auf der Strasse - aus den fahrenden Autos und den Motorrädern geschmissen, selbst wenn Abfallbehälter aufgestellt sind. Ich könnte Bücher darüber schreiben.
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