Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Hungary is burning 200 billion worth of Hungarian forints (around $913 million) to help the needy.This may sound counterproductive given recent events, but it’s actually the government’s resourceful way of keeping citizens warm in the deadly cold snap that has gripped Europe, AFP reports.
The country’s central bank is turning old, unusable monetary notes into briquettes (blocks of flammable matter) to help heat humanitarian organisations.
Since the briquettes have a high calorific value, “one only needs to add a few bits of wood and the rooms are really warm,” Krisztina Haraszti, the head of a centre for autistic children in the town of Miskolc, told AFP.
“It’s a very useful charitable act, a vital aid for our foundation because we can save part of our heating costs,” Haraszti added. The centre saves between 50,000 and 60,000 forints ($238 – $265) a month.
It takes about five million forints ($22,600) to make a single one-kilogram briquette. Ferenczi says “corporate social responsibility” is important for the bank, which destroys 40 to 50 tons of currency every year.
The process is carried out under tight security. People working here have to wear pocketless clothes.
The bank has been converting unusable notes into briquettes since the last four years. Initially, the notes were simply burnt, before the centre began compressing them into briquettes for better heating efficiency. organisations now bid to be given the contract to make the briquettes. The only criterion they must fulfil? They must have no public debt.
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