Monday, June 25, 2012

Mellrichstadt - the bins

One of the best parts about living in a foreign country for a few weeks is to see how differently some of the more basic things in life are organized. Rubbish is one of those items. Some of you might remember my blog on the bins at Selestat last year.

The rubbish bin in the house has three compartments. Bio waste (food scraps) goes in the front compartment, juice and milk cartons go into the back right and everything else goes into the back left.

 Our hosts left instructions on what went into each bin and here they are. The blue is for paper. The brown is for bio waste and the black is for residual waste.

Collection was on a Wednesday so Tuesday evening, the bins appeared on the street.

However, there is a wild card. A clear plastic bag may also be placed out there and it contains the juice and milk cartons (from the back right of the triple bin).

Most put their extra plastic bag (s) with the bins. This house was an exception.

One just had a bag, no bins.

And so we rolled out the bins and lined them up with the others. It seemed to work since the bins were emptied.

That is part one of the rubbish collection. Now we move onto part two.

Glass bottles are to be thrown into these large steel cylinders. Of course the bottles must be separated into green, brown and clear.

Of course, since this is Germany, and an opera must come in three or more acts.

When you buy something that comes in a plastic bottle, a deposit is charged. To get your money back you have to take the bottles back and put them in a special machine which you can find at supermarkets. Lidls and Aldis will only take bottles that were purchased from them.

I suspect there is an act four, but I think you have to be brought up in Germany to know about it. No doubt, RUB101 (Rubbish 101) is a special class that you take in high school. 

So if you think I have been unkind to the Germans, consider what our exchange family will have to go through to deal with their rubbish at our house. While there is a trash pickup in our community, we choose to go to the County dump. We have saved enough money over the years to pay for all our travel (the secret to our success). 

Cecil County has a very nice dump with an excellent recycling section. However a few years ago they decided to charge $4 to dump your stuff. To get the $4 price, you need to have separated out your recycling stuff. You drive up to a hut at the entrance and give them your drivers licence (to prove you are a county resident) and tell them you have recycling. The young lady then asks for $4 and after paying you are given a receipt. You then drive about 400 yards to the actual dump where you pull up at a stop sign. There, a county dump employee checks your receipt and then asks that you open the boot (trunk) on your car so that he can check that you actually have some and were not telling fibs to the girl at the entrance. Then you drive off to an area where you can throw all your recycling into big bins. They also have stations for old TVs and computers, oils, paints, fluorescent tubes, batteries etc. There is also big bins for general waste.

Since our exchange was for five weeks, we made special arrangements for our German family to get a special letter of authorization to allow them to use the dump. We have also talked to some of our friends in the community who have their trash picked up about letting the German family put their rubbish out with their stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment