Sunday, April 26, 2015

Trash removal from homes in Germany

I’ve just finished reading the 23 page “Garbage Guide” for my town, near Kaiserslautern. Here are some helpful excerpts for newcomers to the area:
There are ELEVEN different waste management options for things you don’t want anymore.

Grey bins: Regular trash is picked up curb-side every other week, alternating with the “bio” container (brown bin). The size of your trash bin is determined by the number of people living in the household. Previously, three people lived in our house, so our can was exchanged for a smaller one fit for two people’s trash. “Should the gray container not be sufficient at times, additional non-recyclable waste bags can be purchased at the municipal administrations.”
This dark grey bin looks the same as the one above, but this one has another "floor" inside about 1/3 of the way up so you can't put as many garbage bags inside (only about 2 fit).
Blue bins: paper recycling, emptied every 4 weeks. Self-explanatory (only one page of rules in the booklet).

Brown bins: biodegradable waste. Kitchen waste such as vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, garden clippings, etc. If you compost all your bio items for your garden, your trash fee will be reduced, upon notification of the Kaiserslautern county administration and you will not use the brown bio bin.
Yellow bag: plastics and metals go into this bag. Yellow bags are picked up on trash day (every other week). We bought a bag holder/stand at Poco in Kaiserslautern, but it’s not working out because when the bag gets filled up about half way, it slips out of the holder onto the floor. I’ll post updates on the solution.
A hazardous waste truck comes monthly to each town, or you can take items to the recycling center. Do not flush old medicine or put it into the trash; you can bring it to a pharmacy or the hazardous waste center.

Bulk trash is picked up by request up to twice per year, with 4 weeks advance notice.

Batteries may not be thrown into the trash, they must be brought to the hazardous waste truck or center.

Glass recycling containers (clear, green, brown glass) are located in communities, but are not for window glass or light bulbs. The containers in our town are large metal boxes silver-ish in color. “Glass that is neither clear nor brown or green, e.g. red or blue glass should be put in the container for green glass”.  In case you didn’t know, Germany has quiet times each day… “When to use the glass container: Monday-Saturday 8am-1pm, 3pm-7pm, NOT on Sundays or German holidays!”
Walking/biking paths near our house
I’m tired of typing and I’m only on page 17, about garden clippings! “You may not deposit rootstocks and tree trunks with a diameter of more than 40 centimeters.”
Here are the office hours of the waste management team at the Kaiserslautern county administration:
Mon-Tue: 8am-12pm, 1:30pm-4pm
Wed: 8am-12pm
Thurs: 8am-12pm, 1:30pm-6pm
Fri: 8am-12pm

That’s the news for the week, folks!