Help with Recycling

One of the greatest problems with any recycling scheme is knowing what can be recycled and in which recycling bin to throw it. Some residents in the UK have 4 different bins.

In the south of Germany they have solved the problem by giving every resident a 60-page booklet which lists EVERYTHING they can recycle. This might seem a slight ‘overkill’ but it is remarkably practical. If you have, for example, a pile of old DVDs you want to throw away, you can simply look in the list and see, in a matter of seconds, which domestic bin to place it in, or, where in the local area you can recycle them.

Here in the Esslingen region of Germany, residents already pay fees to have their rubbish collected. One of the bins is for ‘Restmüll” (everything else which cannot be recycled and will go to land fill). This bin is collected every 4 weeks, or you can pay extra for it to be collected every two. It is in the residents’ interest not to fill this bin too quickly, otherwise it will cost them more for extra collections. Not surprisingly, these extra fees encourage people to make sure they place their rubbish, which can be recycled, in the other bins. The ‘rubbish’ booklet certainly helps.

If, and when, separate fees for rubbish collection become charged in the UK, we might also find ourselves thumbing through a directory to work out what goes where.