Recycling - Living In Germany

Recycling

Different trash cans

Different trash cans

Usually the trash is sorted into the following:

Biowaste – brown bin
anything that is biodegradable:

  • Cooking / Food scraps
  • Coffefilters
  • Plants
  • Grass cuts

Restmuell – black bin
anything that cannot be recycled:

  • Ashes
  • Used diapers
  • Stuff you sweep up
  • Kitty litter or any other animal waste

Recyclables – yellow bag/can green can
Anything recyclable:

  • Empty food cans
  • Milk cartons
  • Soda cans unless they have the “pfand tag” then they get returned at the store
  • Yogurt cups
  • Plastic plates / cutlery
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Styrofoam

Paper – blue bin
(sometimes paper is with the recycle stuff, but then you will not have a yellow bag or can)

  • Paper
  • Old newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Any old mail (make sure to shred personal information!)

Garden Composters

Garden Composter

Some houses come with composters. If you do not have one it may be a good idea to invest in one.

They come in different sizes and can be bought for little money at any garden center. Reason behind it is, you save room in your trash bin which means you will have it emptied less and in turn saves $ money $

The composter will be happy to take care of all your yard waste, like cut grass, shredded branches, and leaves in the fall or plants that died and turn it into dirt.

*you can also put kitchen and food scraps into it. Though I would not recommend putting food in it, since it draws rats and mice, but coffee filters are great eggshells or veggie scraps like lettuce.

Sperrmuell and More

Sperrmuell

Sperrmuell:

Is anything too big for the trashcan.

You should have a pamphlet with the dates or how to register sperrmuell, if not ask your landlord.

Now again depending on the area you live in, the community will have different rules and regulations as to what is Sperrmuell and what not, but here are the basics.

Any old furniture made of wood or plastic, old laundry baskets carpets, mattresses stuff like that

Any old appliances, electrical items, radios TVs etc are not spermull, but electric and scrap metal. There will either be a separate pick up day for those, or you will have an old metal collector coming through your village with a car and a bell.

Yard waste can either be shredded and put in your Composter or dropped off at the local Trash place or be picked up twice a year at your house, again that information is in your local trash pamphlet.

No matter where in Germany you live, as long as you live off post, you will have to recycle.

Now the complicated part is, every community has their own little recycling system. The best way to go by things is ask your landlord. Most likely you already have several trashcans outside your house.

But here are some basics:

· The German trash system charges the landlord by month and number of people living in the household, so if you use the cans or not, your still paying for it.

· The community also charges for individual emptying of the cans, usually only the one can of “RestMuell” non recyclable stuff.

· The recyclables are usually free to empty

· Your responsible for your trashcan

· Trash day schedules can be found online, at your local courthouse or ask your landlord

· Set the cans out the night before, because they start their days early and you don’t want to miss the dump car

· There is also extra trash days for big trash like furniture, garden trash (branches etc) and electric or metals

Public Trash bins / containers

Public Trash bins / containers

Old clothes / shoe containers:

Every city has these and they are usually run by private groups as the Red Cross.

Bag your old clothes and paired shoes in big trash bags and just dump them in there. Those items do not go into the “Restmuell”!

You will find those containers by big shopping areas or sports areas outside the town.

Glass Containers

Glass Containers:

Glass Containers can be found outside the town, close to sports areas or again commercial areas, because people do not want to be disturbed by others dumping their glass waste.

Normally the Containers are separated by the color of the glass (clear, green and brown)so try to throw them in the right container, because one colored bottle can ruin a whole container full of clear glass.

You can dump any kind of glass in there, drink glasses, jars, picture frame glass or bottles. Make sure to unscrew the lids though.

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