In big cities, there are four different bins in almost every backyard. In the countryside, you may have to drive to a recycling plant to find all these bins. Alternatively, you can wait for the next collection date and keep specific items, e.g. in your garage until then. You can find out when the garbage is picked up in the so-called "waste calendar" (Abfallkalender), which is delivered to your mailbox once a year- you can also obtain the calendar from the town hall (Rathaus).
Only certain types of waste may be thrown into each bin:
- Yellow Bins (also „yellow bags“ or „Grüner-Punkt-Müll“): Light-weight packaging, i.e. all packaging which are not made of glass or paper (for example aluminum foil, plastic bags, tins, yoghurt cups, Tetra-packs in which juice and milk are sold, plastic bottles and coffee packs)
- Green or Blue Bins: Paper waste and cardboard (for example, paper bags, newspapers, catalogs, writing paper, cartons, cigarette packs). Please note: Very old/stained paper ought to be put in the residual waste bin and Tetra-packs (in which juice and milk are sold) in the yellow sack or bin.
- Black or Gray Bins: residual waste or household waste and all other types of waste that cannot be recycled (for example, porcelain, hygiene articles, dirty packaging, damaged shoes or utensil, vacuum cleaner bags, diapers, cigarette butts, window glasses).
- Bio waste or Brown Bin: compostable kitchen and garden waste (e.g. coffee and tea dregs, fruit and vegetables remains, eggshells, leaves).
You can find out more about various waste bins and containers online.