How To Sort Trash And Recycle In Germany

How To Sort Trash And Recycle In Germany

Let’s not sugarcoat it; Germany produces 30 million tons of garbage annually. However, what you might not know is that the country is also one of the top recyclers of municipal waste in the European Union. With an estimated recycling rate of 67 percent, let’s just say that German folks know a thing or two about shorting their trash. But just in case you are a sustainable living newbie, ready to know how to recycle plastic in Germany and reduce your own carbon footprint successfully, we’ve got you!

Here’s our easy guide on waste separation and recycling in Germany. Spoiler alert: it’s way easier than you think!

Recycling In Germany: A Guide To Sorting Trash

First, let’s have a look at the different types of recycling bins in Germany:

1. Blue bin: This is the bin for paper and cardboard waste. It is usually blue in color and can be found in many public areas such as streets and parks. You can dispose of your egg cartons, bread bags, envelopes, newspapers, magazines, and all types of paper waste!

How To Sort Trash And Recycle In Germany - Blue bin

2. Yellow bin: This bin is used for non-glass packaging waste such as plastic bottles, cans, and cartons. It is usually yellow in color and can also be found in public areas. Consider it as the most-used bin of them all –congrats yellow! Here you can throw your bread bags with plastic windows, Tetra Pak, milk cartons, food containers, plastic foil and bottle caps, and even aluminum foil.

How To Sort Trash And Recycle In Germany - Yellow bin

3. Green bin: This bin is used for organic waste such as food scraps and garden waste. It is usually green in color and can be found in many residential areas.

How To Sort Trash And Recycle In Germany - Green bin

4. Brown bin: This bin is used for garden waste such as leaves, branches, and grass clippings. Everything can be biodegraded, goes here! It is usually brown in color and can also be found in residential areas.

How To Sort Trash And Recycle In Germany - Brown bin

5. Black bin: This bin is used for non-recyclable waste such as diapers, hygiene
products, and other household waste that cannot be recycled. It is usually black in
color and can be found in both public and residential areas.

How To Sort Trash And Recycle In Germany - Black bin

6. Glass recycling bins: For glass containers that don't have a deposit, glass recycling bins are the best options. Some apartment buildings have their own glass recycling bins. You can choose the Braunglas bin for brown glass; The Grunglas bin for green, red, and blue glass, or the Weißglas bin for transparent glass.

Glass Recycling in Germany - El Green Mall

It is important to note that the rules for recycling and waste disposal may vary from region to region in Germany, so it is recommended to check with local authorities for specific guidelines.

How To Recycle Batteries And E-Waste In Germany

Battery recycling bins: All WEEE and waste batteries must be recycled and should not be placed in any of your household wheelie bins. You can easily find battery recycling bins in almost every supermarket, electronics store, and hardware store.

Electronics recycling bins: Use the e-waste recycling bins in electronics stores, hardware stores, and some supermarkets to get rid of your WEEE -labeled electronics sustainably.

Recycling Batteries In Germany - El Green Mall


Berlin Recycling (BSR): For electronics or anything else in Berlin, look for the nearest recycling BSR center.

BSR is a waste management company. Apart of waste disposal, they also offers various services related like street cleaning, and waste collection.

In their collection points you can recycle almost everything else that can't be recycled on your classic recycling bin. From home appliances, cables, chargers and everything in between. You can also arrange for a pickup service if you have a large amount of e-waste that you need to dispose of.

When you bring your electronic waste to BSR, the company will first check to see if the device can be repaired or refurbished. If it can, the device will be given a second life, either by being sold as a refurbished product or donated to charity. If the device cannot be repaired, it will be disassembled and the individual components will be recycled.

How To Recycle Electronics InBerlin - BsR
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