In Germany, we have a complex system of waste separation for household waste:
|Glass and paper
Glass (except bottles with a refundable deposit) and paper have to be separated out and taken to a container. These containers can be found everywhere in the city. If you’d like to know where the nearest one for you is, call the company responsible for this: A.S.S. Abfallwirtschafts-GmbH, 0681-971300.Paper can be put into the blue waste container, that belongs to your house/flat.
|“Der gelbe Sack”
Der gelbe Sack (the yellow plastic bag) is for packaging material, plastic and metal foils etc. The yellow bag is collected once in a fortnight from the roadside in front of your house. Put the yellow bag outside on the evening before the day they collect it. Find out your specific collection day and where to get the yellow bags on the website of the ZKE (Zweckverband Kommunale Entsorgung).
Materials that go into the yellow bag: packaging materials that have a “Grüner Punkt” (green dot) sign on them, which means that the production company has paid their share for this dual waste separation system, for example: plastic bottles, foils, cans/tins, tetrapacks etc.
If your house has a green organic-waste container (Biotonne), use it for all organic waste such as plants, vegetables and fruit, leftover food, paper handkerchiefs, but no bones, dead animals or raw meat!
If there is no green Biotonne at your place, put the aforementioned waste together with all the rest into the normal grey residual waste barrel (called Restmülltonne). This normal household waste is usually collected once a week or every two weeks, depending on what contract your landlord and the waste management enterprise have entered.
Hazardous waste has to be disposed of differently. Batteries can be put into battery collection boxes located in most supermarkets. Varnish, paint, lacquer, solvents, thinners and the like have to be brought to a special place called “Wertstoff-und Entsorgungshof“. Information about where to find the Wertstoff-und Entsorgungshof and prices for different kinds of hazardous waste: ZKE.
Bulky waste (Sperrmüll = big things that don’t fit into the waste barrel, i.e. old furniture, refrigerators, monitors, and TVs) is collected from in front of your house. Every cubic metre costs 5 Euros. For Sperrmüll, you have to fix a date for the collection and be there on that morning to pay it (otherwise they don’t collect it). If you can’t be there, you can pay in advance. Fix a date with the ZKE (Gaschhübel 1, 66113 Saarbrücken, Tel.: 0681-9057311). If you bring your electronic waste or bulky waste up to 1 m3 to a “ZKE-Wertstoffzentrum” by your own, you don’t need to pay anything.