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Waste separation in Germany

The system of waste separation in Germany is quite complicated. There are many different garbage cans. In addition, there are different systems in the federal states, "Bundesländer", for example in Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg.

This is done because we all produce a lot of waste. We have to sort the waste so that it can be disposed of or recycled properly. Recycling means reusing or reprocessing. That is good for the environment.

That's why people in Germany are often strict with waste separation.

Today we give you a small overview so that you can find your way around:

- Yellow bag / Packaging: "Gelber Sack"

Into this trash can comes: everything made of plastic (yogurt cups, plastic bags, plastic bottles without deposit, ...), metal (cans, bottle caps, pots, ...) and other packaging. However, no paper or glass ever goes into this garbage can. The garbage bags for this garbage can are actually yellow. This is easy to remember.

- Organic waste: "Biomüll"

In this trash can you can put: kitchen waste (fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, food leftovers, ...) The organic waste garbage can is often brown.

- Paper: "Papier/Altpapier"

Into this trash can comes: all kinds of paper, cardboard, paperboard

Often the paper garbage can is blue.

- Residual waste "Restmüll"

Into this dustbin comes: all other materials that do not need to be disposed of separately (e.g. wax, ashes, porcelain, fabric remnants, cigarette butts, ...).

Do not put in this garbage can: electrical appliances, glass, paper, plastic.

The residual waste garbage can is often grey.

- Glass "Altglas"

Glass is not thrown in the trash can at home. That's what glass containers ("Altglascontainer") are for. You can find them in your neighborhood. These glass containers are always used of all the people living in the same street. There you have to sort your glass by color: there is white glass, green glass and brown glass.

- Other garbage

Empty batteries: you can often drop them off at the supermarket, for example. There are small bags where you can put them in. If you can't find them, just ask at the cash desk.

Light bulbs: most light bulbs, like batteries, must be collected. You can bring them to the supermarkets. You can also drop them off at a recycling center near you.

Electrical appliances: no electrical appliances may be disposed of in the normal garbage at home. This includes small appliances such as electric toothbrushes or a hair dryer. And also larger appliances like a washing machine. You can hand in small appliances at an electrical appliance store. Larger appliances must be taken to a recycling center near you. Sometimes, if you have for example a new washing machine delivered to you, the suppliers will take the old one directly and dispose of it for you.

Large furniture: If you want to sort out larger furniture, you can register bulky waste "Sperrmüll". You can do this at the city council of your city. In Rhineland-Palatinate, this is free once a year. On the day you register, you place the old furniture in front of your house. There they will be picked up.

The Wirtschaftsbetrieb der Stadt Ludwigshafen is responsible for waste disposal in the city of Ludwigshafen. For this purpose, small videos were shot so that you can learn which things go into which garbage can.

They are called "Where does it go?".

You can find all videos on the YouTube channel of the city of Ludwigshafen.


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