Action 357: Recycle like the Germans do!

Recycling GermanyDate: 23 December
Action: 357
Cost of taking action: NIL


Germany is one of the world leaders in domestic waste recycling

We can learn a few lessons from them elsewhere around the world.

From our guest writer Karina Kurani in Canada

Germany is without a doubt one of the cleanest and well organized countries in the world. The rest of the world can definitely learn from the Germans when it comes to domestic waste reduction.

This is how they do it

  • Sorting, sorting, sorting

Their recycling system takes garbage sorting to a whole another level.

Not only separating the biodegradable from the rest but categorizing glass, paper, lids and packaging leftovers. The chemical household waste also has its own bin. This  method might seem overwhelming at first, but distinct color coding and labeling on the bins helps avoid the confusion.

💛 Yellow bins :  plastic and metal waste

💚 Green bins : glass (glass is further classified into clear and coloured categories.)

💙 Blue bins :  Paper and cardboard

 Grey bins : household waste

🤎 Brown bins : biodegradable remains

🖤 Black bins  : the remaining garbage that does not fit in the categories that are previously listed

  • The recycling yards

The recycling yards in the German cities are very proactive. Things like non functioning electronic devices, old furniture fridges

  • Producing reusable goods

For example, with Christmas season right around the corner, various companies in Germany offer sustainable advent calendars

  • Glass disposal

People wrap the broken glass before disposal, which prevents the glass from breaking making it easier to repurpose.

Also, used glass bottles can be returned to to the stores at a rate of 8 cents for a glass bottle and 25 cents for plastic ones.

As a result of all this, today Germany is the leading county in the domestic waste recycling industry.

Take action

Although few countries have such comprehensive sorting for doorstep waste collections, many areas have municipal waste sites where you can place items in specific skips such as metal, green waste and wood. Also, glass, carrier bag, battery and aluminium can collecting points are often found at supermarkets. Let’s use them and all step up our recycling activities a gear … make like the Germans!


A huge thank you Stadtreinigung Hamburg for informing this article. Stadtreinigung Hamburg is a recycling company  in Hamburg. Their work and efforts make a huge difference, making Hamburg one of our most beautiful cities.

You can check out their website and social media for environmentally friendly tips, further information and cool recycling facts.


This article was written by guest author Karina Kurani in Canada