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Different types of waste separation - sensible consideration or a waste of time?

Anyone who has ever moved to another county has probably already been confronted with the question: How do you separate the garbage here? This often differs even if you only move to a neighbouring town. There are more than 400 districts in Germany, and almost every one of them has differences in waste separation. Below, you will find information you need to consider and where you can find more, specifically regarding your district.

Why is waste separation so important?

You’ve probably heard that all our garbage is thrown into one pile after collection and our tedious sorting at home is therefore pointless. Don't worry, your time spent sorting garbage is well worth it! Because our garbage is not reassembled, but divided and separated into even more categories in the sorting plants. Each material must be treated separately. Glass and paper are recycled whilst organic waste is composted and residual waste is incinerated. To be able to guarantee the recycling of individual wastes, we must separate it correctly at home. Otherwise the toothpaste lid, for example, can end up in the residual waste pile and will be incinerated instead of being recycled. This is neither sensible nor sustainable and is a decent reason to take a few more seconds of your time when separating your waste.

Differences in waste separation - who is responsible?

In Germany, the Closed Substance Cycle and Waste Management Act (KrWG) defines the laws governing waste management. It is intended to promote recycling management, conserve natural resources and ensure environmentally friendly waste management. There are various companies in the waste management sector: municipal enterprises, legally independent companies in cities and districts, and private waste management companies. These naturally have different equipment and separate the waste accordingly. The municipalities can now decide for themselves to whom they entrust the task of waste disposal. Legal and financial factors usually play a role here. This is why there are so many different separation systems, and they can differ in neighbouring towns.

How can you contribute to more sustainable waste management?

Firstly, you should try to produce less waste. You can do this by taking a cloth bag with you when you go shopping so that you don’t have to pack fruit and vegetables in plastic bags. Or you can shop at the market more often. Not only are fruits and vegetables guaranteed to be unpackaged, but they are also produced locally. This saves valuable resources used during transportation and aids in protecting the environment.

If you can't avoid packaging materials, you need to separate them correctly so that recyclable materials can be sorted completely later. Take care, for example, to separate the lid on yoghurt pots and remove the paper coating. The lid and cup then belong in the yellow bin or the yellow bag, and the wrapping is disposed of in the paper bin. This is important so that the aluminium lid can be separated from the plastic cup in the sorting plant and the raw materials can be recycled accordingly instead of ending up in the incinerator.

It is best to find out directly from your district which separation system they use to ensure the correct disposal of the waste.

Depending on your preferences and separation regulations, HAILO offers various waste separation systems you can use. You can choose to have one, two or three separate bins in your waste system. You can also choose a bin with a pedal mechanism or lid opening sensor technology. HAILO has a suitable solution for every kitchen, making precise waste separation, and supporting sustainable waste management easy.

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