Sorting waste in Germany – all what you need to know ;)

Yeah, I know sorting waste is rather an unattractive topic but in Germany it is an essential system to cope with waste. However, this system is not perfect and very different to the systems in other countries.

Tamara already wrote an article about the Pfand-principle in Germany to recycle plastic bottles. So, I focus in this article on the different kinds of bins we have in Germany.

Sorting waste in Germany: scheme

Where to put your waste?

The yellow bin

The yellow bin is reserved for all kinds of plastics which cannot be recycled through the Pfand-system. Mainly these are plastics for packaging but also e.g. tuna or milk packages should be thrown into it. You can see if something must be thrown in there according to the signs on the packaging. There is the so called green point (which is not every time green!) which signalises that the yellow bin is the right choice.

The green bin

The green bin is reserved for every kind of organic waste for example leftover meat, bones, eggs, vegetables. You are a very good waste seperator if you wrap your organic waste into newspapers because then it doesn´t leak onto the ground of the bin.

The blue bin

This bin is reserved for Smurfs. Just kidding, of course you know that Smurfs must be put into the green one. In the blue bin, you have to put all sorts of papers and paper based materials. In addition, important is not to have any kinds of metal between the paper.

The black bin

The rule of thumb for the black bin is that you put everything in here you cannot put into one of the other 3 bins. That is why we in Germany call this bin the “rest-bin” (I know we are very creative in naming things). Examples for stuff you put in the black bin are leather and lightbulbs.

Glass bottles and special waste

Glass bottles have to be put into glass containers. Thankfully in Giessen there are many glass containers and I am pretty sure there is even one near your home. Special waste includes stuff like batteries or electronic gadgets. You can bring these to supermarkets where they have special waste stations.

If you have read everything up to this point I am very proud of you. You will be great in sorting waste and an important pillar of our community! Now you can brag about your waste knowledge and impress your friends.


1 thought on “Sorting waste in Germany – all what you need to know ;)

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