Home > Germany > May the trash be with me….in a German Way

May the trash be with me….in a German Way


Being an expat in Germany, I was thinking to write a topic on waste management for some time now.

While in Bangalore, out of the several menaces I had in my daily routine, garbage throwing ceremony happens to be a thrilling and lofty event. Seriously the problem I had was in carrying that stinking white thin plastic bags till the end of the street; identify a suitable place in the unkempt property adjacent to my house and watch for any onlookers; some are so keen watching me from their building’s first and second floors. The throwing event happens in less than a second.  At times the missile impact causes the sloppy plastic bag to open its knot and whole stuffs come out. That instant my insight hurt me for doing such ignominious activity to the environment.

I am lucky to throw them without anyone’s notice but once luck never favoured me as I got blasting from my neighbour asking not to throw in the vacant plot. He was complaining that it has become a waste dumping land to everyone and especially me (finger pointing at me). After that incident, my conscience was so feeble that I will not be able to originate a pile of my suffs on someone’s property.  But it didn’t stop….

There used to be garbage collecting tractor vehicle passing through all the streets in our area. Its visit happens everyday morning but the vehicle is superfast that when I hear the tractor entering the street, I had to rush packing the stuffs and by the time I come out of the house, the vehicle would have vanished.

Once I tried to place the stench bag at my corridor believing someone will dispose on seeing them but immediately heard a lady voice from the window. It was my ground floor neighbour and heard her saying, “Please don’t keep it here, dogs will pull it down and make it a mess in the entrance”.

How unfortunate, isn’t?

Where in this world can I go and dump those stuffs?

From that weekend, I had to spend considerable time to fill the waste in several bulged plastic bags, wait for the vehicle and had to dump them. Weekends were spent for waste management!!

Few years back while i was in my native, the municipal corporation announced a scheme that every family would receive 2 plastic cans to segregate the garbage -one for degradable and other for non-degradable items. All house hold women were ecstatic when they got the cans –white and green. My typical Indian mom brought the cans and told me “They have issued this for garbage, it is big enough and the plastic is good…I will use it to store masala items and will be air tight”. What an idea sirji??

The next time when I went to my native, I could see that plastic cans reached a majestic position in the loft and of course the masala items preserved safely in those air tight containers. I was wondering why Government has to spend so much money to create employment, manufacture and distribute those air tight containers to store only “masala items” to these home makers??

During my next visit, the green and white plastic cans were missing in the loft and when I asked my mom she said “Nowadays the guy is not taking our garbage in our “customized” can unless he sees those 2 color cans outside, so we have use them desperately for garbage”.  She had to sacrifice her containers for this waste management initiative of the government.

This is one good example as we Indians are forced to abide the law unless it is reinforced.

Germany and waste management

Protecting the environment is a hot issue in Germany. I like the “sorting enthusiasm” which Germans have been following strictly. In offices you could see four color bins-green, blue, yellow and brown meant to segregate glass, paper, packaging and bio-waste (organic substances) respectively. We can see these cans in every German household as well. This is a national color coding scheme for the bins in Germany.

One interesting recycle strategy is the compulsory deposit-return systems meant for drinks containers. I get deposit of  0.25 for all single-use containers between 0.1 to 3 litres which I use in my day today life. How interesting isn’t?

My colleagues and neighbours here will rat me if I violate these garbage rules!

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  1. November 11, 2011 at 12:48 PM

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