Waste sorting in Germany


graphic about waste sorting

remarks in German

remarks in English

remarks in Russian

signs for the bins

waste calender Althengstett 2016


Waste sorting

Waste in Germany ist sorted in different kinds of material in order to recycle paper, glas or plastic. Because of this, waste disposal of non-recyclable rubbish is relatively expensive for people whereras the cost of recyclable waste is much cheaper, sometimes even free.

That means you have to begin the sorting of your waste in your appartment and fill it later on into the different coloured bins in front of your house.

Each house has such big dustbins.

The bins are emptied on different dates. The dates are printed in a special calender (Abfall-Kalender). You will find this calender in your appartment.

You have to place your bins in front of your house the envening befor the collecting date, so that the dustmen can empty the bins the following morning.

It sounds very complicated, but you will get used to it, and it ist very importand to produce as little waste as possible as Germany ist such a heavily populated region.

What are the different kinds of waste ?

Symbol gelber SackWaste packaging

Waste packaging ist collected in a yellow plastic sack, which ist regulary distributed, or in a yellow dustbin. You can put packaging made of plastic, composit or metal material. Packaging hast to be empty and roughly clean.

  • Plastic packageing (as yoghurt pots)

  • Tetra-Pak (as for mild or juice)

  • packaging with plastic in front and cardboard on the back

  • spray cans (empty as for hairspray)

  • boxes and tins

  • screw tops (used for marmelade glasses)

  • polystyrene

  • film an plastic bags

Please don't put non-recyclable waste into the yellow bag! Sometimes the are controlled by the dustmen and if there is something wrong in the backs, the full bags might not be taken!!!


Symbol BioBiocontainer

Organic waste is collected in brown bins.

Potatoe peel, fruit peel, vegetables, salads, eggshell, leftovers, small bones, fish bones, the leftovers of meat, bread and cake, coffee, teabags, rotten food (but without packing) ....


Symbol PapierWaste Paper

Waste paper ist collected in a big green bin. Everything consisting of pager goes in there (newspapers, packing of paper and cardboard, egg-boxes ...).


Symbol GlasGlass for recycling

Glass for recycling is also collected in a big green bin. Everything consisting of glass goes in there.

Be careful:

Some of the glass bottles are returnable bottles, with deposit on the bottle. You have to bring the empty bottle back to the shop in order to get the money for the deposit back. They don't go in to the green bin. You'll find the inscription "Mehrweg" or "Pfand" on them.


Symbol RestmuellNon-recyclable rubbish

Non-recyclable rubbish is collected in the black bins.

Electric light bulbs, old medicine, cigarette ends, cigarette lighters, dishes, brushes, napkins, dirty plastic bags and so on ... go in there.

Things that should't go in the normal waste

Used-up batteries, fridges, electrical appliances, oil or old clothes and furniture are collected differently and shouldn't go into non recyclable rubbish.

Here you can get some information about this:


If you have questions about that, just ask a neighbour or some member of the AK Asyl.


What is the best way to do it ?

Collecting the waste in the appartment and put it into the right bin

Start the sorting already in the appartement in three different bins or places:

  • the yellow sack for all the waste packaging, you collect the full sacks somewhere outside.

  • the small brown bins in the kitchen for the organic waste. You can cover it with old newspapers. Please empty this bin as often as possible into the big brown bin outside.

  • For the non recyclable waste you use a small bins with plastic bags. If it is filled, you can throw it in the black bin outside.

  • Waste paper and glass for recycling you can directly throw into the big green bins outside.

There are symbols on the bins outside to help you to decide which bin is the right one.

Putting the bins on the right place for the collection

You will find the symbols sticking on the bins also in the "Abfall-Kalender":

That shows you the exact date, when the different bins are collected.

Next to the symbols in the calender you will find shortcuts for the 3 different villages, all belonging to Althengstett:

"Alt": Althengstett

"Neu": Neuhengstett

"Ott": Ottenbronn

If there is a shortcut, collecting only takes place in this special village.

If there ist no shortcut at all, the collection will be in all three villages, in Althengstett, Neuhengstett and in Ottenbronn.


Example: Glass for recycling, only in Neuhengstett and Ottenbronn

Example: Non-recyclable rubbish and organic waste in Althengstett, Neuhengstett and Ottenbronn

The dustmen come very early. Therefore please put the bins out the evening before the actual date.

The emptying is automatically done by a special car, that even collects the bins automatically with no human assistance. It's therefor important to put them parallel to the street next to each other. There is an arrow on the bin, which should show into the direction of the street.

Please leave the yellow sacks near the street the evening before collection. But let enough room for people to pass by.

Be careful: if the waste is not collected because it isn't seperated correctly or nobody puts the bins out on the street on the collecting date in time, the bins have to be emptied with furher costs!

Waste disposal in Germany ist very expensive ...

So good luck and just ask somebody, if you have problems!


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