Instructions for sorting of rubbish / garbage in Munich

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Hi there,

 

Can somebody explain the various rules regarding trash and recycling in Germany? I am tired of getting chastised for not knowing and my German is not good enough to know what people are telling me.

 

thanks,

Paul

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We've got three bins, I think most people are the same:

  • one for paper
  • one for "bio" - basically the stuff that used to go on me dad's compost heap
  • and one for everything else (Restmüll) except glass.

Glass you either take back to the shop if it's got a Pfand (deposit) on it, or you take it to the bottle bank.

 

The Biotonne is brown and not that big. The one for paper is a bit bigger and called Papiertonne. Our Restmülltonne looks the same as the Papiertonne, so I guess you might be getting into trouble for getting these two mixed up? It should be written on them what they are.

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Info is written on the bins, there are pictures too, and you can always look inside to see what other people have been putting in. Glass, metal, and plastics can all be taken to the big cream / beige bins with round tops.

 

post-16-1097338863.jpg

 

If you live in Munich you can find out where the bins are at Wertstoffinseln in Munich.

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But what are the rules for what things go in these bins?

 

1) for the bio bins, does anything biodegradable go in? Including just vegetable matter or also like meat scraps? I know my mother didn't put raw meat scraps in her compost.

 

2) glass bottles and jars and aluminium cans go into the bins with or without their labels?

 

3) what exactly does kunstoff cover? Plastic, first of all (I think). Old cardboard milk cartons? Styrofoam? Raw meat packaging (plastic and syrofoam)? Empty hair spray bottles?

 

And for 2 and 3, how much are you expected to clean our the container first? I just give everything a quick rinse.

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Munich (at least in the centre of the city) is actually way behind most other places for the collection of plastics and metail cans. Even my parent's council www.sedgemoor.gov.uk does kerbside collections now! :blink:

 

Given my bleeding liberal heart I sneakily cheat recycle by putting the cans and plastics in a private recycling bin in next door's hof for which I'm sure I'll be fined one day! :ph34r:

 

Oh yeah, and do wash it!. When you wash up, right at the end, just wash the stuff in the old water briefly. Can you imagine how your pro-antibiotic bio ökö health yoghurt drink carton is gonna smell when the bin men come to pick it a week later otherwise? :o

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surely you mean "put it in the dishwasher"

 

or

 

"make sure the cleaning lady washes it"

 

PS: grtho, this one is dedicated to you, you old red rascal ;)

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What you must separate:

* Paper (your building should have a blue bin for this)

* Glass (take to the Hof like everyone said, must separate into brown, green, clear; if unsure, choose the darker bin)

* Sperr- and Sondermüll (batteries, poisons, paint, fridges, etc.)

 

What you should also separate:

* Bio (all food and garden waste, both animal and vegetable)

 

What you can also separate:

* Metal (any/all except toxics like mercury)

* Plastic (includes Tetra-Paks)

 

You don't have to separate plastic and metal, and a lot of people don't separate "bio" either. Remember we gots this kick-ass incinerator in Unterföhring making our electricity for us and it burns coal and garbage. What can burn, burns and what can't is separated out.

 

Some cities are much more anal, making you separate paper into two types. Other cities like Regensburg make recycling easier by providing yellow and green plastic sacks for plastic and metal.

 

woof.

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* Glass (take to the Hof like everyone said, must separate into brown, green, clear; if unsure, choose the darker bin)

I'm not sure what it's like all over town, but out in the sticks we've got yellow bags. You get them from the local Rathaus for 2,50 EUR per roll and put everything that can't go into another bin in there. Once or twice a month a big truck comes by for yellow bag collection.

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just to clarify, are we saying that tetrapaks (milk, juices etc) should definitely go in the kunstofftonne... i always have doubts whether they should be in the papiertonne...

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Tetra-Paks are a pain since they're made out of paper, plastic and metal foil. They went in with the metal in Regensburg but I was told here in Munich to send 'em to plastic. That makes more sense to me based on how recycling and recovery works.

 

As far as the recycling bags, we don't get 'em inside the Toytown city limits, and they don't cost nuttin' in Rgbg.

 

woof.

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Tetra-Paks are a pain since they're made out of paper, plastic and metal foil.

Ah, but the company that make them actually recycle them into some weird sort of plastic sheeting. If you go to Terapak offices, EVERYTHING is made out of this tetrapak stuff. trays, penil holders, loads of shit. Its all tutti frutti colour, as its made from minced up cartons, and they also make childrens playground equipment out of it.

 

Boring, boring info, but true.

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Hmm I think the colour of the bins and bags is irrelevant, as it seems to be different everywhere!

We just have big metal silver bins for paper and normal rubbish, and the food rubbish is a brown plastic bin.

 

As for the plastic, I chuck all sorts of plastic in together. A friend of mine once saw the rubbish collectors go to the bottle banks and they emptied plastic, glass and tin into the same dumptruck anyway..

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A friend of mine once saw the rubbish collectors go to the bottle banks and they emptied plastic, glass and tin into the same dumptruck anyway..

Is your friend sure it wasn't a compartmentalised truck? While it's easy to separate metal, glass, plastic and paper from each other, some companies do, some don't. The machinery is big and esspensive, but so are compartmentalised trucks and multiple fleets.

 

Unless the company only deals with low-quality, low-value brown glass, they're probably not mixing the bottles. While current technology makes separation of glass chips based on colour pretty simple, it doesn't strike me as very efficient.

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We got completely confused when we got her, but a quick visit to the rathaus and they supplied us with yellow bags, and a dictionary of rubbish to tell us where different things should go, never thought anywhere could be so organised to have a rubbish dictionary.

 

I believe it depends totally on the area you live in as each suburb/town has it's own rules so your rathaus is ths only place which can tell you about your areas scheme.

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Actually, while we're talking about this :

 

Blue glass

 

Does this go in the white glass or green glass bottle bank?

 

I always choose the white glass...

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ACK!!!

 

Blue goes in green or brown. Blue won't hurt the tint of green -- which has to be "tuned" anway (and blue is a component of green) -- but it will discolour what's SUPPOSED to be colourless.

 

You can see sign of this contamination if you grab a few mineral water bottles. They're all from the German bottlers' association but from different runs. Look at them in good light -- you'll slight tints in various shades. Too much in any direction and that whole batch of glass gets to be green or brown, and that ends up costing more since it has to be cooled, trashed, moved and reheated.

 

woof.

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Hmmm..actually, I was trying to be a smartass, but totally failed as I was not thinking when I wrote the above post. You are indeed correct, blue is a component of green. Duh. I is a scientist.

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How can you find out if the town you live in does yellow saks and bio garbage? My neighbors don't seem to know about any sort of printed, existing schedule -- just that the garbage goes out every Monday. I've just moved from Hessen, where they supplied us (for free) with yellow saks and the bio tonne, as well as a yearly calendar for garbage pick-up.

I don't like throwing everything into one garbage because the bin is small and gets full so quickly. I would also prefer to recycle.

 

Anyone know a website where I can access this info for Munich?

 

Thanks!

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