If you have ever wondered how to separate household waste while in Germany, here are some tips to help you out. In Germany, you can get a fine of up to 1.500€ if you do not follow the waste management procedures.
One of the confusing questions you may have in your first week relocating to Germany would be how to separate the household waste. The reduction of residual waste allows us to use smaller or fewer residual waste bins, which can reduce the cost of disposal.
Materials that are not recyclable
The term residual waste refers to waste that can no longer be recycled. Most of these wastes are burned in thermal power stations and converted into electricity and district heating.
Unfortunately, a large number of recyclable materials end up in the residual waste bin. The amount of residual waste can be significantly reduced by consistently separating waste at home itself.
Nevertheless, using smaller or fewer residual waste bins will reduce your waste fees if you separate your waste better and throw less waste into them.
What can be thrown in the gray residual waste bin?
Vacuum cleaner bags
Litter for cats and small animals
Sanitary paper and diapers
Carbonless paper and paper wax
Paper and cardboard should be disposed of in the blue bin. Separating paper waste from non recyclable waste saves energy and water and protects forests because waste paper is reused in new paper production.
What can you put in the blue paper bins?
Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, prospectuses
Forms, office paper
Note books, books without covers
Folded cardboard boxes, wrapping paper without tape
Clean paper bags
Pizza box without leftovers
Bio or organic waste
Kitchen and garden waste should be disposed of in the brown compost bin. It is not allowed to put plastic bags in the organic waste bin! Compost is made from organic waste. Some cities produce green electricity from the fermentation process at the same time.
Tree and shrub cuttings can, however, be sent to your city's local recycling depot for disposal.
What can you put in the brown bin?
Leftover vegetables, salads, and fruits (both raw and cooked)
Leftover meat and fish (both raw and cooked)
Peels of potato, egg, nut, and fruit
Bread and baked goods that are old
Ground coffee, coffee filters, and coffee pods
Potting soil, flowers and plants (without pots)
Trimmings from trees, shrubs, grass, and leaves
Newspapers and kitchen paper can also be disposed in bio bins to soak up moisture
Bottles and aluminum packages
Separate packaging for recycling since it can be reused. In order to put the glass bottles in the packaging, it is necessary to empty it of its contents, no rinsing is required. It is important to separate different materials, such as the aluminum lid of the yogurt pot.
What can you put in the glass disposer?
Glass bottles. There is no need to remove the lids
Containers, plastic packaging, plastic bottles, plastic cups, polystyrene, packaging films (e.g. beverage cartons, plastic packaging)
Aluminum foil, aluminum cans, aerosol cans, crown caps, screw caps on bottles and jars, tinplate, tin cans, etc.
Shoes and old clothes
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of old clothes ending up in the residual waste bins. There is simply no point in throwing away old clothes in non recyclable waste bins. At the recycling depots or in the city area, you will find many containers for old clothes.
What can you put in the clothes disposer?
Any type of wearable clothes
Wearable, clean shoes
Gloves and hats
Items such as tablecloths and bath towels.
Furthermore, there are recycling depots in every city where bulky waste, problematic materials, and green waste can be dropped off free of charge.
Fines for not separating waste in Germany
You could end up paying a huge fine if the administration discovers you fail to separate waste and do it regularly. However, the amount of the fine varies from state to state.